October 5, 2016 / 10:11 AM / 10 months ago

Correa keen for Argentine starting role in Messi absence

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Argentina's Angel Correa kicks the ball during a training session ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Brazil in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 9, 2015.Marcos Brindicci/Files

LIMA (Reuters) - Argentine forward Angel Correa says he is ready to fill the void left by talismanic striker Lionel Messi for their World Cup qualifier away at Peru on Thursday.

Five-times World Player of the Year Messi will miss the fixture with a thigh problem, giving the 21-year-old Atletico Madrid forward Correa a chance to add to his five caps.

"There is only one Messi," Correa told reporters after training on Tuesday. "I am happy to be here and if I am to replace him then I will try to do it in the best way possible and help the team."

Argentina are third in the South American qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup, a point adrift of leaders Uruguay approaching the halfway stage.

Peru sit ninth in the 10-team standings which will provide up to five qualifiers for the tournament in Russia.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Patrick Johnston/John O'Brien

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