Icardi gets international call up

Lionel Messi is expected to be out of action for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Inter Milan's Argentinian forward Mauro Emanuel Icardi celebrates after scoring. Picture: AFP

BUENOS AIRES - Lionel Messi's injury has opened the international door to Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi, called up for the first time by Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella for their last two World Cup qualifiers.

"Sabella called up forward Mauro Icardi for the matches against Peru and Uruguay," the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on its website.

Argentina, who lead the South American group and have already qualified for the 2014 finals in Brazil, host Peru in Buenos Aires on 11 Octobe and visit Uruguay in Montevideo four days later.

Messi suffered a hamstring injury playing for Barcelona at Almeria on Saturday and is expected to be out of action for up to three weeks.

The 20-year-old Icardi, an Argentina under-20 international, came through Barcelona's junior ranks before joining Sampdoria in 2011 from where he moved to Inter this season.

Sabella added Icardi to the squad he named on Friday which included Messi.