Lionel Messi to play for Argentina vs. Canada in Copa América semifinal despite leg injury

Argentina captain Lionel Messi will play in Tuesday’s Copa América semifinal against Canada on Tuesday, head coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed to reporters Monday via FOX sports‘ Doug McIntyre.

Messi suffered the injury in Argentina’s second group-stage match of the tournament, a 1-0 win over Chile on June 25 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. He missed the final Argentina group-stage match against Peru due to the injury and took on a diminished role in the team’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador in the quarterfinals, with Argentina advancing via a 4-2 penalty shootout win despite Messi missing the opening spot kick for his team.

Messi has yet to score in this Copa América as Argentina looks to follow up its wins in the pandemic-delayed 2021 edition of the tournament and 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup with a third straight major tournament title. 

Argentina returns to MetLife on Tuesday to beat a Canada squad that it defeated 2-0 in the opening match of this Copa América on June 20 in Atlanta. However, the aggressive Canada side led by American coach Jesse Marsch has pieced together three straight results of its own to earn a rematch with heavily-favored Argentina.

That match kicks off Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX sports App.

The winner of that game will face the winner of the other semifinal between red-hot CONMEBOL sides Colombia and Uruguay in the final on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX sports App. That match will take place in Miami, Messi’s adopted hometown since his historic June 2023 signing with MLS club Inter Miami.

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