Lionel Messi Argentina

Lionel Messi is set to make his international return for the first time since the World Cup after being named in Argentina’s latest squad.

Messi, 31, opted to take some time away from the national side after their disappointing last-16 exit at the hands of eventual winners France.

He has been left out of every squad since their Russian failure – but he gave his football federation the nod to include him as they prepare for the Copa America later this year.

Argentina will take on Venezuela at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano on March 22 before heading to Gibraltar to take on Morocco, although Messi is not expected to feature in the second game.

It is the last time Lionel Scaloni has his squad together before the Copa America in Brazil this summer.

The other big news from the squad was the omission of star striker Mauro Icardi, who has not featured for Inter Milan since his contract dispute.

His last appearance came on February 9 and with strong links to Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United it appears his summer may be free for transfer dealings.

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