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Lionel Messi to be included in Argentina squad to face Venezuela - Reports 

Argentina will have their captain back in action.
Argentina will have their captain back in action.
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Sachin Bhat

Lionel Messi has returned to training with Argentina. He will reportedly be included in their matchday squad to face Venezuela in a FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier on Friday.

The PSG ace missed his country's games against Chile and Colombia earlier this year with a flu. He is now set to make his first appearance for them since November last year.

Messi was sidelined from PSG's last league clash with AS Monaco last weekend because of illness. However, according to journalist Gaston Edul, the former Barcelona star trained well on Tuesday with his national team and is feeling better.

Meanwhile, the Albiceleste have already qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, so their captain's services might not be needed from the start.

Lionel Messi trained very well on Tuesday with the Argentina national team and feels better. He will be there on Friday against Venezuela in the World Cup qualifier. This via @gastonedul. https://t.co/5OMGAqUV8q

Manager Lionel Scaloni could start Messi on the bench to keep him fresh for a more challenging trip to Ecuador next week.

Argentina are the only team besides Brazil in the CONMEBOL zone who're yet to lose a game in the ongoing qualifiers. With ten wins and five draws from 15 games, the Copa America champions trail only the Canaries in the points table by four points as they seek an unbeaten qualification campaign.

Lionel Messi has been a big part of Argentina's solid run so far. He has scored six goals in 13 games, including a stunning hat-trick against Bolivia in a 3-0 victory last year. Only four players, including his teammate Lautaro Martinez, have scored more than him in the ongoing CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers so far.

#SelecciónMayor Lista de convocados por @lioscaloni para los encuentros ante #Venezuela 🇻🇪 y #Ecuador 🇪🇨. https://t.co/WhriE7s3vy

With just three more games remaining before Argentina close their qualification campaign, the 34-year-old will hope to add a few more strikes under his belt. Against Venezuela, though, Messi has a surprisingly poor record, scoring just four goals in ten games.


Qatar could be Lionel Messi's World Cup swansong with Argentina

At 34, Lionel Messi will likely play his final World Cup with Argentina this year. It would mark the end of a tumultuous era, with the PSG ace often struggling to produce his best in the competition.

However, in what could be his final appearance on the world stage, Messi will hope for better fortunes than last time, when the Sky Blues lost in the Round of 16 to eventual winners France.

Lionel Messi came agonisingly close to claiming the Jules Rimet trophy in 2014 when Argentina reached the final. However, Germany spoiled their party with an extra-time goal.

It will be interesting to see if the Albiceleste are able to give their talismanic captain the best possible send-off in Qatar.


Paul Merson has predicted all the GW 1 fixtures of the Premier League. More details right here

Edited by Bhargav
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