Argentina without Messi, Aguero and Di Maria for friendlies

SAO PAULO (AP) – Argentine interim coach Lionel Scaloni kept his promise to leave striker Lionel Messi out of friendly matches against Iraq and Brazil next month.

Prolific Manchester City forward Sergio Agüero and Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di María also rested for matches in Saudi Arabia, with Scaloni willing to try new players.

Argentina will face Iraq on October 11 and Brazil five days later.

Three players could debut in those games. [19659002] Defender Juan Foyth (Tottenham) and midfielders Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese) and Roberto Pereyra (Watford) were called up for the first time on Friday.

Scaloni is in charge until the end of the year before handing over the team to a successor, with Messi's international future still uncertain.

Messi was frustrated after scoring just one goal, and missing a penalty, in the World Cup earlier this year.


Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad) and Franco Armani (River Plate).

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Walter Kannemann (Gremio), Juan Foyth (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Alan Franco (Independiente), Fabricio Bustos (Independent) and Renzo Saravia (Racing).

Midfielders: Santiago Ascacibar (Stuttgart), Leandro Paredes (Zenit St. Petersburg), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Franco Vázquez (Sevilla), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Eduardo Salvio ( Benfica), Franco Cervi (Benfica), Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting Lisbon), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente) and Ezequiel Palacios (River Plate).

Strikers: Cristian Pavón (Boca Juniors), Gonzalo Martínez (River Plate), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan), Angel Correa (Atlético de Madrid) and Giovanni Simeone (Fiorentina).

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