Messi’s Argentina Set to Face Nigeria and Ivory Coast in March for China Tour Friendlies

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Lionel Messi’s Argentina is gearing up for a series of exhibition matches in China next month. The Argentina Football Association confirmed that the Albiceleste will engage in friendly clashes against Nigeria in Hangzhou and Ivory Coast in Beijing from March 18 to 26. While this presents a thrilling prospect for football enthusiasts, it may also mean that Messi will be absent from Inter Miami’s Major League Soccer (MLS) game against the New York Red Bulls on March 23.

The specific dates for these encounters are yet to be unveiled, adding an element of anticipation to the forthcoming tour. Argentina, as the reigning world and South American champion, is utilizing these friendlies as part of its preparations for the upcoming Copa América, where they are slated to open against either Canada or Trinidad and Tobago on June 20 in Atlanta.

Read also: AFCON 2023: Nigeria continues to advance as Osimhen and Ekong pass drug tests

The significance of Messi’s potential absence from Inter Miami’s clash with the New York Red Bulls stems from the fact that this is the sole game on the team’s schedule during the international fixture period. As per regulations, clubs are obligated to release players for national team duties during this period.

For Miami, this season marks the commencement of Messi’s first full campaign with the team. The MLS season opener is scheduled for February 21 against Salt Lake, offering fans an early look at how Messi’s presence may influence the team’s performance.

The tour of China provides a valuable opportunity for Argentina to fine-tune its strategies and test its mettle against formidable opponents ahead of major competitions. With Messi at the forefront, the friendlies against Nigeria and Ivory Coast are sure to capture the attention of football enthusiasts globally.

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