Lionel Messi returns to Argentina squad for first time since World Cup

Lionel Messi returns to Argentina squad for first time since World Cup”

Messi has not played for his country since the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation where Argentina, then managed by Jorge Sampaoli, lost 4-3 to eventual winners France in the competition's last 16.

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said Lionel Messi wants to try global football "one more time" as the superstar looks to reignite his career with the Albiceleste.

The national team captain's self-imposed exile after his country's last-16 exit to eventual champions France during Russian Federation 2018 - left many believing their countries record scorer was considering worldwide retirement.

He joins a squad featuring four goalkeepers, 10 home-based players but no Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain or Mauro Icardi.

Messi took a break after the Russia World Cup but as SPORT revealed in January, he would return for these friendlies.

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"We think it can be good to look at more players and not always stick with them".

Scaloni said "Messi prefers to come than to rest", despite the demands of a heavy fixture list for his club. "We have also reached three finals with him", Scaloni said. "I will make that decision".

Whilst he's built up an nearly unprecedented collection of trophies with his club, Messi is running out of time to taste major worldwide success with Argentina.

Lionel Messi is back with Argentina's national team.

The 31-year-old will play in the match at the Wanda Metropolitano against Venezuela, while he will not travel to Tangier with his teammates to face Morocco on 26 March.

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