AFA official claims Messi 'doesn't look after himself'


Lionel Messi does not look after himself properly because he always wants to play, according to Jorge Miadosqui, the Argentina team secretary.

The 29-year-old has been sidelined since September 21 after sustaining a groin strain during Barcelona's 1-1 LaLiga draw with Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou, meaning he will sit out the World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay this month.

The forward's latest muscle injury prompted Argentina head coach Edgardo Bauza to call for both club and country to work closer together to ensure that Messi can maintain full fitness.

But Miadosqui, who was appointed by the Argentine Football Assocation (AFA) in August, believes Messi does not help himself with his determination not to be rested for certain matches.

"The one who isn't being careful is the player, who always wants to play," he told ESPN Radio. "We all have to look after him together.

"I think that the national team looks after players in the best way. We sent the doctor for Augusto Fernandez's operation, and he went to look at Messi. We have to look after all the national team's players."

Miadosqui expects Messi to be available for the key qualifying matches against Brazil and Colombia next month, but he is confident that Bauza's side can cope without the captain against Peru and Paraguay.

"He'll be back in the next few weeks, we hope to have him for the matches in November," he said.

"We have to thank the players who come because they do it for the shirt, for the glory.

"You have to think that they can get good results without him. We have great players to do just that and you have to be relaxed about it."

Argentina are third in the South American qualifying section after eight matches, a point behind leaders Uruguay.