Lionel Messi was ruled out of Argentina’s friendly against Ecuador on Tuesday night because of persistent foot pain.
The Barcelona star was a late withdrawal from the match in New Jersey, which Argentina won 2-1, because it was too painful for him to put his boots on.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said: “We waited for Messi until the end but he wasn’t able to go. He had a hard time putting his boots on.
His foot hurts a lot. “I’d like to offer apologies to the people who came here eager to see him.” Messi has been carrying the injury since picking up a knock against Manchester City in the Champions League.
He subsequently played 90 minutes against Real Madrid in the Clasico, and had been training normally with the Argentina squad in the USA. However, he played no part in either of the country’s friendlies against El Salvador and Ecuador. Barcelona resume their Liga title challenge away to Celta Vigo on Sunday.