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Messi returns for Argentina, Lamela drops out

By Football News



Lionel Messi returns to Argentina's squad for their friendly in Romania in March, but Erik Lamela has missed out through injury.

Captain Messi has not played for his country since scoring twice in their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in September following a series of injuries late last year. 

The Barcelona star returns to Alejandro Sabella's squad for the trip to Romania, although Tottenham forward Lamela is ruled out with a back injury. 

Lamela, who has endured a tough start to his career at White Hart Lane since his switch from Roma last year, misses Argentina's final friendly before the FIFA World Cup squad is announced. 

Domestic-based midfielders Fernando Gago and Ever Banega are expected to be included as late additions, while Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem, is also named in the squad. 

Defenders Gino Peruzzi and Lisandro Lopez are also included, although there remains no place for Juventus forward Carlos Tevez. 

Tevez has not played for Argentina since Sabella's appointment, last featuring for his country in the 2011 Copa America.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Mariano Andujar (Catania), Sergio Romero (Monaco)

Defenders: Jose Basanta (Monterrey), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Lisandro Lopez (Getafe), Nicolas Otamendi (Atletico Mineiro), Gino Peruzzi (Catania), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Ricardo Alvarez (Inter), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Jose Sosa (Atletico Madrid)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter)