Lionel Messi’s absence for Argentina is a pity for football, says Neymar

Brazil forward Neymar said he hopes Lionel Messi will return to play for Argentina one day as it is a “pity” he is not involved with the international squad at present.

Messi, who captained Argentina at the World Cup this summer in Russia, has taken an indefinite break from the Albiceleste.

Neymar believes the absence of his former Barcelona team-mate is a significant blow for spectators around the world, but the 26-year-old feels it gives Brazil a better chance of victory in Jeddah.

“For those who love football, having Messi out of a game like this is bad. But for us it’s good,” Neymar said.

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“It’s a pity for football.

“We never underestimate Argentina’s quality, the players they have in their squad.

“Argentina have Dybala, who is a player that I really like, so we have to be switched on.

“It’s a very difficult game. We will have to do our job and it’s always good to play them. There are no favourites.”

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