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Messi starts from bench against Copa champions Chile

Lionel Messi will start from the bench in Argentina’s opening Copa America Centenario fixture against defending champions Chile.

Nursing a back injury, captain Messi was named among the substitutes for Monday’s blockbuster Group D clash in Santa Clara, a rematch of last year’s Copa America final.

Messi, who had trained away from his team-mates leading into the match, was under an injury cloud after sustaining a back problem in a friendly on May 27.

The 28-year-old hobbled off the pitch in pain during Argentina’s 1-0 win over Honduras in San Juan, eventually substituted, after suffering rib and back contusions.

Argentina will be hopeful of having Messi – who scored 41 goals in all competitions as Barca won La Liga, Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in 2015-16 – back for the remaining group fixtures against Panama and Bolivia as the 14-time Copa champions seek to end a 23-year wait for a major trophy.

Tue 7 Jun, 2016
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