Lionel Messi returns for Argentina after ban for Brazil, Uruguay friendlies
Lionel Messi was called up by Argentina on Thursday for friendly games against Brazil and Uruguay next month, the country’s football association announced on Twitter. Messi has not played for Argentina since he was sent off against Chile in their victorious third-place play-off match in the Copa America on July 7.
The striker was then handed a three-month suspension for comments he made after the game, in which he accused CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, of corruption.
In-form Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been recalled after missing out on the last four friendlies, while Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo remains in the squad following his surprise recall after the Copa America.
In Messi’s absence, Argentina have played four friendlies, drawing against Chile (0-0) and Germany (2-2) while thrashing Mexico 4-0 and Ecuador 6-1.
They face Brazil in Saudi Arabia on November 15 and then Uruguay in Israel on November 18. Messi’s ban ends on November 3.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has endured an injury-hit start to the season after hurting his foot in August and then his thigh in September.
But his recovery has coincided with a return to form for Barcelona, who have won their last seven consecutive games in all competitions.
Messi scored twice in a 5-1 win over Real Valladolid on Tuesday.
Goalkeepers: Agustin Marchesín (Porto/POR), Juan Musso (Udinese/ITA), Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal/ENG), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors)
Defenders: Juan Foyth (Tottenham/ENG), Renzo Saravia (Porto/POR), Nicolas Otamendi (Man City/ENG), German Pezzella (Fiorentina/ITA), Marcos Rojo (Man Utd/ENG), Walter Kannemann (Gremio/BRA), Nicolas Taglafico (Ajax/NED), Nehuen Perez (Famalicao/POR), Guido Rodriguez (America/MEX)
Midfielders: Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham/ENG), Leandro Paredes (PSG/FRA), Nicolas Dominguez (Velez), Rodrigo de Paul (Udinese/ITA), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Roberto Pereyra (Watford/ENG), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla/ESP)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Sergio Aguero (Man City/ENG), Nicolas Gonzalez (Stuttgart/GER), Lucas Alario (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA)