Football

Lionel Messi to start for Argentina against Colombia

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Lionel Messi will be permitted to captain Argentina in their World Cup qualifier against Colombia tonight, according to the Associated Press.

The current World Player of the Year, 25, has reportedly received the all-clear from Barcelona's medical staff and will now seek to help his country move a step closer to qualification for Brazil 2014.

Messi hasn't played since aggravating a hamstring injury in Barcelona's 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid on May 12; however, he now looks set to return for his country when they face the Colombians in Buenos Aires.

"His leg is okay," said Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella said on Thursday. "He looks quick and capable of taking on defenders, but we need to see how fit he is after so long without playing."

Argentina currently lead South American qualification with 24 points from 11 games, five ahead of Colombia in third, who have played a game less. 

Ecuador, who are a point ahead of the Colombians in second having played the same amount of fixtures, will travel to Peru on the same game-day. 

Chile currently hold the fourth and final automatic qualification spot in the nine-team, 16-game league, while the fifth place team at the end of the competition - currently Venezuela - will play in an inter-continental match with a team from Asia to decide an additional qualifier.

Brazil are already guaranteed their spot at the tournament as hosts, but Uruguay and Paraguay - both regular contenders in recent years - are set to miss out as things stand.   

 

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Lionel Messi
Barcelona

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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