Argentina forward Lionel Messi will not play against Spain, Mundo Deportivo has reported ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly.
The 30-year-old missed Friday’s win over Italy with a hamstring injury and it looks like the maestro’s problem hasn’t fully healed.
On Monday, coach Jorge Sampaoli said that the Barcelona legend would only play in the clash at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium if he was fully fit.
“Messi trained with the group normally so he is available to play. If there was a risk, Leo would have said so,” Sampaoli told a press conference.
“Before the game against Italy Leo said he could not play. But he has trained the last two days. We will define the starting XI later,” he added.
More to follow…
Portugal had a rather forgetful night on Monday after being handed a 3-0 loss by Netherlands, as they prepare for their bid to win the 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.
Goals from Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk before half-time meant Fernando Santos’ side had an uphill task ahead of them in the second-half.
What looked an almost impossible task then got even more so after Joao Cancelo was sent off in the 61st minute.
Soon after, Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted after enduring a frustrating night on the pitch, but only after – not one, not two, but three pitch invaders hurried onto the pitch to meet the Real Madrid superstar.
One of the pitch invaders even gave Ronaldo a kiss on his cheeks.
And while the disappointment of the scoreline was evident on Ronaldo’s face, the five-time Ballon d’or winner handled the situation well.
Watch how the incident happened, below.
The 25-year-old has risen to become one of the world’s most skilled midfielders, ever since his time at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp where attacking football was the norm, to Barcelona where he recently moved for a £142 million deal.
Alves is therefore of the opinion that Coutinho deserves to be rated in the same frame as his PSG team-mate, Neymar, who has a fractured foot and is currently recovering from the injury that will take up to three months to mend.
Speaking ahead of Brazil’s game against Germany, he said: “I think that Coutinho is a player who is on the same level as Ney, he has a massive influence on our game and in his teams.
“When he was in Liverpool and now in Barca, he has improved a lot and learned to read the game better, to make the right decisions.”
“That is great to see, to play with such a good footballer who has that ability. There are others who are similar. We are lucky to play with great players and have them on our side is fantastic. We have to get the best out of them and build a solid team,” Alves added.