Buenos Aires - Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza launched a
stinging attack on Barcelona on Thursday after losing star forward Lionel Messi
for vital World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay next month.
Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a
groin strain suffered in Barca's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday
And that brought a furious rebuke of the Catalans from
"They send us messages to look after Messi but they
don't protect him. He plays every match," Bauza, who said his team would
nevertheless cope, told Fox Sports.
"We've already played without Messi. Having him is an
advantage for the problems he creates (for opponents).
"But for me as coach and for the team it's a challenge
if we have to play without him."
Argentina are third in the South American World Cup
qualifying group, one point behind leaders Uruguay.
They play Peru in Lima on October 6 before hosting Paraguay
on October 11 in Cordoba.
Only the top four teams in Conmebol qualifying earn an
automatic place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.