Lionel Messi is out of the starting lineup for Argentina’s Copa America game against Panama

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Chicago | Published: June 11, 2016 3:54 PM

Five-time FIFA Player of the Year: Lionel Messi will begin the game on the bench.

lionel messi, lionel messi news, panama, COPA, COPA america 2016Lionel Messi is returning from a back injury and would play on Friday night at Soldier Field. (Reuters)

Messi is returning from a back injury and manager Gerardo Martino said he would play Friday night at Soldier Field. But the five-time FIFA Player of the Year will begin the game on the bench.

Sergio Romero is in goal for Argentina. Gabriel Mercado, Ramiro Funes Mori, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Otamendi are the starting defenders, and Augusto Fernandez, Javier Mascherano and Ever Banega are in the midfield.

Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Nicolas Gaitan are the starting forwards.

Blas Perez leads the Panama attack after he scored two goals in its 2-1 victory over Bolivia in its Copa opener on Monday. Jaime Penedo is in goal.

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