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Messi captains Argentina for first time

By Rex Gowar

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)