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Messi returns to Argentina squad

Messi returns to Argentina squad
© Reuters
The Barcelona star has not played for his country since last summer's World Cup.

Lionel Messi's international exile is over after the Barcelona star was named in the latest Argentina squad.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been called up by new La Albiceleste boss Lionel Scaloni for the upcoming international friendly matches against Venezuela and Morocco.

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

Lionel Messi has not played for his country since last year's World Cup
Lionel Messi has not played for his country since last year's World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Having missed six games, however, the 31-year-old – Argentina's all-time record goalscorer – has returned with the Copa America in Brazil in sight this summer.

The Copa America holds special significance for Messi, having played in the tournament four times and been a losing finalist on three occasions.

This month's friendlies are one of the final opportunities that Scaloni will have his squad together to prepare for the Copa America. Argentina play Venezuela at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium on March 23 before facing Morocco in Tangiers three days later.

Premier League strikers Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) and Gonzalo Higuain (Chelsea) have been left out of the squad.


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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
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3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
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13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
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17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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