Lionel Messi decision to play for Argentina defended by boss Lionel Scaloni with PSG fuming over his call-up

ARGENTINA boss Lionel Scaloni has defended his decision to call-up Lionel Messi for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The 34-year-old forward missed Paris Saint-Germain's last two games due to a knee injury he sustained in the win over Lille.

Despite that, Messi was still called up to play for his country in their World Cup qualifiers, largely thanks to a clause in his contract which allows him to prioritise international games.

PSG chief Leonardo blasted Argentina's decision to call Messi up as 'not logical', with the player still in the 'rehabilitation phase' with his knee.

In an interview with Le Parisien, Leonardo said: "We do not agree to let a player go by selection who, for us, is not in physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase.

“It is not logical, and these types of situations deserve a real agreement with Fifa.”

However, Argentina's manager has come out to explain his decision to name his captain in his squad.

Scaloni said: "At the moment, [Messi] has played for Argentina more than for his club.

"We have a good relationship with Leonardo – Walter Samuel knows him. It's understandable due to the three fixtures in September and then again in October.

"There were many matches and journeys, and what they are saying is understandable.

"But we are well within our rights to call him up and play him if he is physically able [to play]."

Despite the comments from elsewhere, Messi had a big smile on his face as he trained alongside the likes of Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria and Atletico Madrid star Rodrigo de Paul earlier this week.

Messi also took part in some contact training it appears, so his knee injury may not be as bad as originally feared.

The Albiceleste take on Uruguay tonight in their latest qualifier for the World Cup tournament in Qatar next year.

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