Injured Barcelona striker Lionel Messi dispelled rumours that he is not committed to the Argentina national team on Thursday with a Facebook post encouraging the squad.
"Congratulations to all my colleagues in the Argentine Football Federation -- Argentine team who participated yesterday in the win over Germany for the first match in this new stage of direction under Tata [Martino]," Messi told his fans via Facebook. "I am sorry I could not be with you this time. This team still has a lot to give and we are going to achieve great things in the future! #LetsgoArgentina."
The Albiceleste gained a modicum of revenge for July's World Cup final defeat to Germany with an Angel Di Maria-inspired 4-2 friendly win in Dusseldorf on Wednesday night, but national captain Messi was missing having pulled out of the squad as a precaution with a minor adductor muscle problem.
Teammate Javier Mascherano dismissed concerns that Messi missing the friendly meant he was no longer as committed to his national team.
"We Argentines must learn to look after our idols," Mascherano said. "Players like Messi come along every 50 years. If we do not know how to enjoy it, that is a pity. Messi was always the first to come with the national team and it will stay like that."