June 22, 2010 / 5:52 PM / 9 years ago

Messi captains Argentina for first time

Argentina's Lionel Messi pauses during the 2010 World Cup Group B soccer match against South Korea at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

POLOKWANE (Reuters) - Lionel Messi became Argentina’s youngest World Cup captain when he led his country for the first time two days before his 23rd birthday against Greece in Group B on Tuesday.

Coach Diego Maradona, who captained Argentina to World Cup victory aged 25 in 1986, made seven changes to the side that beat South Korea 4-1 five days ago, resting skipper Javier Mascherano and bringing back midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron from injury.

The only players retained from Argentina’s first two matches were goalkeeper Sergio Romero, central defender Martin Demichelis and Messi while Maxi Rodriguez also remained from the South Korea game.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel made two changes, bringing back Giorgos Samaras into the attack in place of Fanis Gekas and introducing defender Vangelis Moras in a tactical shift with Dimitris Salpingidis dropped to the bench.

Editing by Jon Bramley

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