For the first time in the Conmebol 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, Argentina will not count on Lionel Messi's talent on the pitch as its head coach Lionel Scaloni did not include the PSG player on the roster that will face the matchdays 15 and 16 of the tournament against Chile and Colombia on January 27 and February 1.
As it was informed here in Bola Vip US, the agreement between Paris Saint Germain and the Albiceleste to do not call up Messi for the next Qualifiers games was honored. Unlike the last Qualifiers in 2018, Argentina can show off that with 4 games still to play, its squad is one of the National Teams that have already assured a place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, so Lio's presence may not be truly necessary now.
Lionel Scaloni's squad is currently second in the Conmebol Qualifiers Standings with 29 points, a consequence of 8 victories, 5 draws, and no losses. The only two undefeated teams of the tournament are Brazil, the current leader, and the Albiceleste. Argentina's remaining games are against Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
The roster of Argentina for the games against Chile and Colombia
Even Lio Messi does not appear on the list, Lionel Scaloni has a vast amount of talented players to aim for the victory against two hungry rivals that desperately need to collect points to not miss the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, such as la Roja and los Cafeteros.
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Esteban Andrada, and Emiliano Martinez.
Defenders: Juan Musso, Nahuel Molina, Gonzalo Montiel, Lucas Martinez Quarta, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Tagliafico, and Marcos Acuña.
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodriguez, Rodrigo de Paul, Giovani Lo Celso, Alejandro Gomez, Alexis Mac Allister, Nicolas Gonzalez, and Lucas Ocampos.
Forwards: Emiliano Buendia, Angel di Maria, Angel Correa, Julian Alvarez, Lautaro Martinez, Maximiliano Meza, and Paulo Dybala.
On a last-minute announcement, the Argentinian Football Federation has informed that Rayados of Monterrey forward Maximiliano Meza was included in the roster that will clash against Chile and Colombia to substitute injured Internazionale's player Joaquin Correa. Maxi was not been called up since 2018.
Which player could take Lionel Messi's spot in the starting lineup of Argentina
The last World Cup Qualifier that Messi had missed was the one held on March 28 2017 in La Paz against home team Bolivia, on which Argentina suffered a 2-0 loss. So, Lionel Scaloni will have to be accurate to find the best replacement for La Pulga on his tactical system.
Usually, Scaloni uses a 4-3-3 system, sometimes when the rival deserves it, he moves to a 4-2-3-1. Messi is the right-winger of the first formation and executes his classic move from the line to the center to control Argentina's offensive production right from there. Related to the second formation, Lionel plays the role of a creative or attacking midfielder, in which he has less physical wear cause he is already positioned in center lanes.
Considering not only the position in the field but also the function of Lionel Messi with Argentina, the most suitable player to take his place is Paulo Dybala. The Juventus jewel is an incredible playmaker capable of assisting his teammates behind them and also has a good performance inside the cage.