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SPORTS | 23-08-2021 14:31

Argentina call up Messi for World Cup qualifier against Neymar's Brazil

Albiceleste coach Lionel Scaloni springs no huge surprises in squad, though he does recall Paulo Dybala of Juventus.

Lionel Messi was called up on Monday to the Argentina squad due to face his new Paris Satin-Germain teammate Neymar and Brazil in a World Cup qualifier next month.

The crunch CONMEBOL encounter on September 5 will mark the first time the two icons face each other as PSG teammates, and will come less than two months after Messi inspired Argentina to a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the Copa América final.

The highly-anticipated encounter is sandwiched between two other World Cup qualifiers, with the Albiceleste playing Venezuela on September 2 and Bolivia a week later.

Brazil lead the single CONMEBOL qualifying group with a perfect 18 points from six matches, while Argentina are second with 12 points and also unbeaten.

Messi won his first international trophy in July as he helped Argentina end a 27-year wait for major silverware by upsetting Brazil at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracanã stadium.

The two countries' star players are yet to play alongside each other this season as both have been given an extended break by PSG following their Copa exertions.

After more than two decades playing at Barcelona, Messi is widely expected to make his PSG debut this weekend away to Reims.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni sprung no huge surprises in his squad, though he did recall Paulo Dybala of Juventus who joins Inter Milan's Lautaro Martínez among powerful-looking forward options, although new Barça signing Sergio Agüero misses out through injury.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa/ENG), Juan Musso (Atalanta/ITA), Gerónimo Rulli (Villarreal/ESP)

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla/ESP), Nahuel Molina (Udinese/ITA), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Nicolás Otamendi (Benfica/POR), Juan Foyth (Villarreal/ESP), Lucas Martínez Quarta (Fiorentina/ITA), Germán Pezzella (Real Betis/ESP), Lisandro Martínez (Ajax/ NED), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax/NED), Marcos Acuña (Sevilla/ESP)

Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain/Francia), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Guido Rodríguez (Real Betis/ESP), Nicolás Domínguez (Bologna/ITA), Alejandro Gómez (Sevilla/ESP), Ángel Di María (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Emiliano Buendía (Aston Villa/ENG), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan/ITA), Nicolás González (Fiorentina/ITA), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Julian Alvarez (River Plate), Joaquín Correa (Lazio/ITA), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA)

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