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Champions League final hero Messi set for Moscow clash


MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) - Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been included in an Argentine squad for a match against Russia in Moscow on August 12, Russian football authorities said on Thursday.

Messi was one of the heroes of the Barcelona side that swept aside Manchester United to lift the Champions League on Wednesday, and his inclusion in the Argentina squad guarantees that interest in the friendly will be high. Russia's own superstar, Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin, is also likely to take part in the game.

Argentina's preliminary squad for the match against Guus Hiddink's side also includes Manchester United star Carlos Tevez.

The Russian Football Union press service head Andrei Malosolov told RIA Novosti that the venue for the game had not yet been agreed on. However, reports say that the game will either take place on the plastic surface of the 83,000-capacity Luzhniki stadium or the natural pitch of the 28,000 Lokomotiv ground.

Argentina are managed by world football legend Diego Maradona, 48. The controversial star became Argentina's trainer in November 2008, despite having had very little previous managerial experience. After leading the side to victories in his first three games in charge, Argentina were beaten 6-1 away to Bolivia in April in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

Russia have never previously played Argentina.

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