No Argentina break for Messi
Lionel Messi has been included in the Argentina squad for upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Bolivia despite speculation suggesting the Barcelona star was to seek a break from international football.
The 28-year-old captained the selection which finished second at the 2015 Copa America in Chile last month and ultimately became one of the players targeted for criticism.
Messi impressed in spurts during the competition, but his inability to consistently reproduce his Barca form on the international stage has started to gripe with some supporters.
However, even though Messi had reportedly been considering a break from Argentina duty due to that criticism, coach Gerardo Martino has named him in the squad as they prepare to face Bolivia and Mexico in the United States on September 4 and 8, respectively.
Other than Ramiro Funes Mori earning a call-up, the squad is exactly the same as the one to reach the final in Chile, with Angel di Maria also present despite not yet playing for his new club Paris Saint-Germain.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Nahuel Guzman (Club Tigres), Sergio Romero (Manchcester United).
Defenders: Milton Casco (Newell's Old Boys), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit), Agustin Marchesin (Santos Laguna), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), .
Midfielders: Ramiro Funes Mori (River Plate), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Pastore (PSG), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Angel di Maria (PSG).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG).