Skip to main content

Argentina confirm Messi to start against Uruguay

Lionel Messi will make his international return against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday after recovering from a hamstring injury in time, the Argentine Football Association has confirmed.

Messi announced his retirement from international football in June after having a penalty saved in the shoot-out of the Copa America final against Chile, with Argentina losing the final for the second year in a row to the same opposition.

But Messi's retirement only lasted until August as he quickly reversed his decision and returned to the fold, with new Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza naming the Barcelona forward in his first team for the clash in Mendoza.

Messi will captain the side, with Lucas Pratto making his debut up front in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero, with Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria also selected in an attacking line-up.

Uruguay, who have named Messi's club team-mate Luis Suarez in their team, currently lead the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table after six fixtures, with Argentina in third place in the standings.