Lionel Messi has returned to the Argentina squad for the first time since the 2018 world cup. The Barcelona star has not played for the national team since they were defeated by France who eventually won the competition.Messi returns to Argentina team for first time since 2018 world cup

Messi got named in a 31-man squad to play friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco this month.

Another player joining Messi in returning to the team is Par St-Germain midfielder Angel di Maria, 31.

Four Premier League players made manager Lionel Scaloni’s squad – Manchester City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, Tottenham defender Juan Foyth, Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra and West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini.

Dropped from the squad are Spurs winger Erik Lamela and goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi also got dropped and has not played since 9 February because of an ongoing dispute with the Serie A club.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Chelsea’s Gonzalo Higuain who last played for the team at the 2018 world cup also remain absent.

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