Lionel Messi Argentina

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said Lionel Messi will play for Argentina again despite not having appeared for them since the World Cup defeat to France.

Argentina were without Messi for the friendly win against Guatemala and the 0-0 draw with Colombia, while he will miss the games against Iraq and Brazil later this month.

“If Messi doesn’t go to the national team, he can be more rested for Barcelona,” Valverde told Fox Sports Argentina.

“But we know that he wants to go to the national team, and he will go. The best news for Barcelona is, if Messi goes to the national team, that he is happy, and that is what we want to happen.

“We want him to do well wherever he is, and what he wants is to do many things with the Argentina national team.”

Argentina Football Association president Claudio Tapia said recently that he had no doubt Messi would play for the national team again.

But interim Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said earlier this week that Messi had not indicated when or if he would play for his country again.

Messi has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since making his Argentina debut in August 2005.

The 31-year-old has eight goals in six appearances for Barca this season, and will be in action when they visit Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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