OFFICIAL: Messi back in Argentina fold

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has reversed his decision to retire from international football after being called up for Argentina’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

According to Sport, Messi “has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Argentina, despite the harsh criticism he has received in recent years”.

The No 10 is also “very clear” on the plans of new boss Edgardo Bauza for the national team after their meeting in Barcelona on Thursday and “is eager” to “continue fighting” for the Albiceleste jersey and avoid “ending like this”, in reference to his initial retirement plans after June’s lost Copa America final.

Bauza’s first Argentina squad also includes nine other Spanish-based players, namely defenders Facundo Roncaglia (Celta Vigo), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Martin Demichelis (Espanyol) and Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), midfielders Matias Kranevitter (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Augusto Fernandez and Nicolas Gaitan, plus forward Angel Correa (all Atletico Madrid).

Argentina resume their World Cup qualifying campaign on September 1 against Uruguay, before facing Venezuela five days later.

Tags Argentina Lionel Messi