Buenos Aires - Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has called up Lionel Messi for the forthcoming Soccer World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Ecuador, even though the Barcelona forward is only half-fit.
Messi, recovering from a thigh injury which limited his participation in the Catalan club's Champions League semi-final rout by Bayern Munich, is a key figure in the squad to play Colombia in Buenos Aires on June 7 and then travel to Quito for a match against Ecuador four days later.
Sabella can also call on Ezequiel Lavezzi but is without his Paris St Germain colleague Javier Pastore.
Argentina currently top the South American qualifying group on 24 points, ahead of Ecuador, with 20, and Colombia, on 19.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria, ITA), Mariano Andujar (Catania, ITA)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, ENG), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica, POR), Federico Fernandez (Getafe, ESP), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon, POR), Hugo Campagnaro (Napoli, ITA), Jose Basanta (Monterrey, MEX), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle, ENG)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona, ESP), Ever Banega (Valencia, ESP), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid, ESP), Jose Sosa (Metallist Kharkiv, UKR), Pablo Guinazu (Libertad, PAR), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo, ESP), Erik Lamela (AS Roma, ITA), Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht, BEL), Walter Montillo (Santos, BRA)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona, ESP), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid, ESP), Sergio Agero (Manchester City, ENG), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan, ITA)