Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Messi returns to Argentina squad

08 Mar 2019, 22:46 ( 14 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Lionel Messi.File Photo Xinhua.

Lionel Messi was Thursday named in Argentina's squad for international friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco, ending a self-imposed nine-month exile.
   
The Barcelona forward was included in a preliminary 31-man squad that also features Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria who, like Messi, has not represented the Albiceleste since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
   
"Leo has been selected, we'll decide later if he plays one game or two," Argentina's head coach Lionel Scaloni told reporters. "I will make that decision."
   
West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini also returned for the first time since suffering a knee injury last June, just days before the World Cup.
   
Scaloni included uncapped duo Lisandro Martinez and Domingo Blanco, who play for Argentine first division club Defensa y Justicia.
   
But there was no place for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, Chelsea's Gonzalo Higuain or Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi.
   
Argentina will play Venezuela in Madrid on March 22 and Morocco in Tangier four days later.