Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has included Lionel Messi in his 32-man preliminary squad for the 2019 Copa America tournament.
Messi’s comeback to international football following a near nine-month absence ended disastrously after a 3-1 friendly defeat to Venezuela in Madrid.
The Barcelona superstar suffered a knock during the match and left the squad prior to their final friendly against Morocco. This sparked fears he may call it a day once again as he originally did in 2016.
But Scaloni vowed to call-up Messi for Argentina’s Copa America campaign and has kept his promise to the supporters.
A surprise inclusion is Mauro Icardi, who hadn’t been expected to be called up due to his troubles at Inter Milan. But he finally returned to action last month and has since made seven appearances.
Sport also reported that Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero have all also been included.
Argentina 32-man squad for 2019 Copa America
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Agustín Marchesín (América), Juan Musso (Udinese) and Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad).
Defenders: Renzo Saravia (Racing), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Walter Kanemann (Gremio), Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuña (Sporting Lisbon), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Juan Foyth (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (PSG), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Guido Rodríguez (America), Angel Di María (PSG), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Matías Zaracho (Racing), Gonzalo Martínez (Atlanta United), Maximiliano Meza (Monterrey), Iván Marcone (Boca Juniors).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan), Matías Suárez (River Plate), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan).