ROME (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi and Mario Balotelli will both not feature for their respective teams when Argentina and Italy meet in a friendly at Stadio Olimpico tonight.
Barcelona forward Messi will miss the game after failing to recover from a thigh strain he picked up in preseason training.
“Leo Messi will not feature in the international friendly between Argentina and Italy in Rome this Wednesday,” a statement said.
“After undergoing tests conducted by the Argentina national team doctors, it was decided that Messi should return to Barcelona and focus on recovering from his muscle injury.
“The injury forced the forward miss out on Barca’s last match of the Asia Tour.”
AC Milan forward Balotelli is also out of the game after he picked up a knee problem in training this week.
“Mario Balotelli will not play in the Italy-Argentina game,” a statement said.
“The Azzurri attacker, who had stopped during a light workout due to pain in his knee, has not recovered from his injury and gone back home.
“Balotelli left Rome after the audience at the Vatican with Pope Francis.”
Italy v Argentina
Italy: Buffon, Maggio, Chiellini, Antonelli, Verratti, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Candreva, Giaccherini, Osvaldo
Subs: Sirigu, Astori, Ranocchia, Aquilani, Gilardino, El Shaarawy, Cerci, Montolivo, Bonucci, Diamanti, Florenzi, Insigne, De Silvestri, Marchetti
Argentina: Andujar, Campagnaro, Garay, Federico Fernandez, Zabaleta, Di Maria, Biglia, Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez, Higuain, Palacio
Subs: Ustari, Alvarez, Lavezzi, Ever, Augusto Fernandez, Basanta, Coloccini, Ansaldi, Cerro, Lamela, Romero
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)