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7 Mar, 2019 16:33

Return of the Messi-ah: Barca star Messi back in Argentina squad for first time since World Cup

Return of the Messi-ah: Barca star Messi back in Argentina squad for first time since World Cup

Argentina have confirmed Lionel Messi will return for the first time since the World Cup in Russia, as they announced their squad for upcoming friendlies in March.

Messi and Argentina endured a tough World Cup last summer, scraping into the knockout stages before losing to eventual winners France.

Messi has sat out the six games the team have played since then, but La Albiceleste confirmed he would be back for the March friendlies against Venezuela in Madrid, and against Morocco in Tangier.

Messi and Argentina endured what was widely seen as World Cup nightmare in Russia last summer.

While Messi scored a memorable goal in the last group-stage game against Nigeria, he never hit the heights so often seen at club level as the team bowed out amid mumblings of discontent between the players and manager Jorge Sampaoli.


Lionel Scaloni has since taken the reins and, having taken a break, Messi is now ready for another crack at the glory that has so often escaped him on the international stage.  

It is likely to be a gentle re-introduction, though, and the friendly against Morocco on March 26 is even said to include a clause that involves opposition players not tackling Messi too hard during the game, and other conditions such as not seeking selfies with the famous number 10.           

On the club front this season, Messi has been in blistering form, scoring 33 goals in 34 games for Barca.


His March return to the national team means he will add to his 128 caps, and potentially his 65 strikes.