Messi keen to reignite Argentina career, says Scaloni

Back for the first time since the World Cup, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni said Lionel Messi is ready to lead the country.

Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said Lionel Messi wants to try international football "one more time" as the superstar looks to reignite his career with the Albiceleste.

Messi has not played for Argentina since last year's World Cup but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is back for a pair of upcoming friendlies.

The Barcelona captain made himself unavailable following Argentina's last-16 exit to France at Russia 2018, however, the 31-year-old will be involved against Venezuela and Morocco this month.

Discussing Messi's return, Scaloni told reporters: "It was a big disappointment the World Cup in Russia and for Messi even more. The decision in the first six matches [of the Scaloni cycle] was that it did not come.

"Over time he saw that we grew up, he observed the way we play and he is happy. Messi wants to try it one more time.

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"The decision of the coaching staff was not to come, and as a result of the matches he saw we did, he is happy and wants to try one more time. For us it is welcome.

"He is playing many games and many players would like to rest, but he prefers to come. The decision of whether to play a game or two is going to be taken by me. It's crazy to say that he's only going to play a game when there are still 15 days left."

Messi is Argentina's all-time leading scorer with 65 goals, but he is yet to win a senior international title with the South American giant.

Argentina will face Venezuela in Madrid on March 22, before travelling to Morocco four days later.

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