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Messi to remain out of Argentina squad for Brazil friendly

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JUNE 21: Lionel Messi of Argentina shows his dejection during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images)

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s friendly against Brazil on Oct. 16 in Saudi Arabia.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said on Monday that Messi will not be called for the brief tour. He will also miss the other friendly in Saudi against Iraq on Oct. 11.

Scaloni, the interim national coach until January, said Argentina was focusing on blooding younger players.

Messi has made no public comments about his decision to be left out of the Argentina squad, which he hasn’t played for since the World Cup.

Messi was also absent from Argentina’s two-match tour of the United States this month.