WORLD CUP 2022
Injuries piling up for Messi’s Argentina
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has six players carrying injuries, including Lionel Messi, just two weeks before the 2022 World Cup starts
Alarm bells continue to ring for Lionel Scaloni, with a series of potential roster picks currently carrying injuries, including Lionel Messi, whose fitness issues will be giving the Argentina boss – and indeed the entire country – sleepless nights. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar is the latest player to have picked up a knock and Scaloni now has six players injured just two weeks before La Albiceleste are due to start their World Cup campaign.
Lionel Messi expected to return to PSG training on 10 November
According to PSG, Messi is suffering from Achilles tendinitis and didn’t take part on Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash against Lorient as a precaution. He is expected to return to training with his club teammates this coming Thursday (10 November) although it isn’t clear whether he will feature against Auxerre on Sunday, which will be PSG’s last game before the World Cup.
Paulo Dybala and Cristian Romero hoping to make Argentina 2022 World Cup roster
Paulo Dybala suffered a thigh injury in the act of taking a penalty for Roma against Lecce on 9 October. Since then, he was been doing intense recovery work in an effort to ensure that he is able to take a place on Scaloni’s 26-man World Cup roster, which will be announced on Monday, 14 November. His recovery deadlines are being met and the attacker, who has been working hard in the gym, has started doing some running on the training field. He could feature in Qatar, although he won’t be at full fitness in time for the tournament.
Giovanni Lo Celso looks less likely to make it. The Villarreal man picked up a hamstring injury in his team’s 1-0 defeat to Athletic Club on 30 October. He has been a regular on Scaloni’s roster but is very unlikely to be fit in time.
Juventus midfielder Leandro Paredes has been out of action since suffering a minor thigh issue in the Old Lady’s clash with Empoli on 21 October. He has, however, returned to full training and is expected to be declared available for selection again this week.
Fiorentina attacker Nico González is in a similar boat. A muscle problem has kept him out since 22 October but he is also expected to return to action in the coming days.
However, Tottenham Hotspur’s Cristian Romero won’t play for his club again until after the World Cup. The central defender has been struggling with a muscle strain, although there is hope that he will be available for the tournament. Argentina’s first game is against Saudi Arabia on 22 November, almost a month after Romero last’s appearance for Spurs, which came against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Champions League in October 26
Finally, Villarreal’s Juan Foyth, who injured his left knee in a LaLiga game against Getafe on 28 August, has been given the all-clear to play again, although he has yet to do so.
One man who is already in Qatar and will definitely be part of Scaloni’s 26-man roster is River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani, who is set to be the only player from an Argentinian club on the roster. Armani travelled with Scaloni and the rest of his backroom staff as part of a 50-person delegation, headed by Argentine Football Association president, Claudio Tapia.