Messi back for Argentina’s World Cup duel with Brazil
Lionel Messi was named in Argentina’s squad for their heavyweight World Cup clash against bitter rivals Brazil on Friday having missed the last three fixtures through injury. Messi had been sidelined from international duty with a thigh injury but buoyed by a midweek hat-trick for Barcelona in the Champions League against Manchester City, he returns to an Argentina team struggling in fifth spot in World Cup qualifying.
Only the top four sides are guaranteed a place in the finals in Russia in 2018 with the fifth-place finishers facing a play-off. Without Messi, Argentina drew with Venezuela and Peru and lost 1-0 at home to Paraguay. They face Brazil in Belo Horizonte on November 10 before hosting Colombia in San Juan five days later.
Argentina squad: Goalkeepers: Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres de Monterrey/MEX) Sergio Romero (Man Utd/ENG) Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad/ESP).
Defenders: Martín Demichelis (Espanyol/ESP), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal/ESP) Nicolás Otamendi (Man City/ENG), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton/ENG), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla/ESP), Facundo Roncaglia (Celta Vigo/ESP), Emanuel Mas (San Lorenzo), Pablo Zabaleta (Man City/ENG).
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona/ESP), Guido Pizarro (Tigres de Monterrey/MEX), Lucas Biglia (Lazio/ITA), Ever Banega (Inter Milan/ITA), Enzo Pérez (Valencia/ESP), Nicolás Gaitán (Atlético Madrid/ESP), Ángel Di Maria (PSG/FRA) Julio Buffarini (Sao Paulo/BRA), Marcos Acuña (Racing Club).
Attackers: Ángel Correa (Atlético Madrid/ESP), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus/ITA), Sergio Agüero (Man City/ENG), Lucas Pratto (Atletico Mineiro/BRA).