In a major blow to Argentina, goalkeeper Sergio Romero has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia due to a knee injury.
Confirming the news, the Argentina Football Association (AFA) said Romero would be removed from the 23-player list for the World Cup after the Manchester United goalkeeper injured his right knee during training in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
"Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero will be removed from the list of 23 players who will participate in the 2018 World Cup in Russia," the AFA said.
The 31-year-old player, who started the World Cup final during Argentina's 0-1 defeat to Germany in 2014, will now require a surgery on his right knee.
"The player of Manchester United suffered a joint blockage in his right knee and is being evaluated surgically," the AFA said.
The AFA further confirmed that the Technical Corps would announce his replacement in the next few days.
It should be noted that Romero was expected to start for Manchester United in the FA Cup, however, manager Jose Mourinho had opted David de Gea over him due to Romero's lack of fitness.
Besides Romero, the other two goalkeepers named in the initial squad were Willy Caballero of Chelsea and River Plate's Franco Armani.
On a related note, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is slated to begin from June 14 and will run till July 15.