Messi, Farías & Almada called up for Argentina World Cup qualifiers


Lionel Messi has been called up by Argentina for the October international window despite his injury problems with Inter Miami CF, highlighting a 34-man roster that also includes Herons' teammate Facundo Farías and Atlanta United star Thiago Almada.

Messi and Almada return to Lionel Scaloni’s squad after La Albiceleste – the current FIFA World Cup champions – opened their 2026 WC qualifying campaign last month with wins over Ecuador and Bolivia.

Farías, meanwhile, gets his first senior call-up amid his debut MLS season in Miami.

Argentina: World Cup qualifiers

  • Oct. 12 vs. Paraguay (7 pm ET) | Estadio Monumental - Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Oct. 17 at Peru (10 pm ET) | Estadio Nacional del Peru - Lima, Peru

Absent from Miami’s last four matches due to scar-tissue problems from a past injury, Messi was nonetheless included in Scaloni’s roster after scoring a free-kick golazo to lift Argentina past Ecuador last month. He sat out the team's subsequent win at Bolivia.

The Herons are 1W-2L-2D (all competitions) without their superstar No. 10, most recently falling 4-1 at Chicago Fire FC in Matchday 36. They have three games left to make up a five-point gap on the ninth-and-final Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot in the Eastern Conference.

Farías, a summer U22 Initiative signing from Colón, has earned his first senior call-up amid a promising maiden MLS campaign with the Herons that’s seen the 21-year-old post 3g/2a in under 700 league minutes.

Miami's de-facto playmaker when Messi isn't available, Farías was included in the Team of the Matchday presented by Audi for Matchday 31, taking AT&T 5G Goal of the Matchday for that performance as well.

Almada's impressive 2023 season (11g/16a) has the 22-year-old firmly in the Landon Donovan 2023 MLS MVP conversation and Atlanta United heading into the playoffs with renewed confidence after the arrival of summer reinforcements Saba Lobjanidze, Xande Silva and Tristan Muyumba.

A solid attacking partnership with Giorgos Giakoumakis also gives Almada plenty of help as he hopes to lead the Five Stripes to a deep playoff run in what could be his final MLS season amid growing interest from European clubs.