International Friendlies

Lionel Messi's return for Argentina ends in 3-1 defeat against Venezuela

Lionel Messi looks disappointed after Venezuela score
Lionel Messi failed to add to his 65 international goals

Lionel Messi made a disappointing return to Argentina duty as he was injured in a 3-1 defeat by Venezuela.

Barcelona forward Messi missed six internationals during a self-imposed exile following defeat by eventual winners France at the 2018 World Cup.

Messi, 31, finished the match but felt pain in his groin and will sit out Tuesday's friendly against Morocco.

The injury, described as a flare up of an existing problem, is not thought to be serious.

In a friendly between the two South American sides held in Madrid, Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon put Venezuela ahead after six minutes before Jhon Murillo doubled the lead just before half-time.

Lautaro Martinez pulled a goal back for Argentina, but Josef Martinez added Venezuela's third with a penalty.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Chelsea's on-loan striker Gonzalo Higuain and Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi were all left out of the squad by manager Lionel Scaloni.

Despite five substitutions being made by Argentina, Juventus forward Paulo Dybala failed to make it off the bench, although Watford's Roberto Pereyra did play the final 12 minutes at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Armani
  • 29FoythBooked at 44mins
  • 2MercadoSubstituted forKannemannat 45'minutes
  • 14MartínezSubstituted forBlancoat 45'minutes
  • 24Montiel
  • 20Lo CelsoBooked at 54minsSubstituted forPereyraat 78'minutes
  • 5Paredes
  • 3Tagliafico
  • 10Messi
  • 18MartínezSubstituted forSuárezat 45'minutes
  • 22MartínezSubstituted forBenedettoat 70'minutes


  • 4Kannemann
  • 7Pereyra
  • 8Acuña
  • 9Benedetto
  • 12Marchesín
  • 13Marcone
  • 19Zaracho
  • 21Dybala
  • 25Blanco
  • 26Saravia
  • 27Suárez
  • 32Musso


Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Fariñez
  • 20HernándezBooked at 47mins
  • 3OsorioBooked at 63mins
  • 2VillanuevaBooked at 33mins
  • 16Rosales
  • 15MurilloSubstituted forHurtadoat 89'minutes
  • 18HerreraSubstituted forSoteldoat 64'minutes
  • 5Moreno
  • 8RincónBooked at 82mins
  • 11MachísSubstituted forAñor Acostaat 79'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 23RondónBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMartínezat 72'minutes


  • 4Chancellor
  • 7Añor Acosta
  • 9Córdova
  • 10Soteldo
  • 13Seijas
  • 14Del Pino
  • 17Martínez
  • 21González
  • 22Romo Perez
  • 24Figuera
  • 25Aristeguieta
  • 26Hurtado
José María Sánchez Martínez

Match Stats

Home TeamArgentinaAway TeamVenezuela
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Argentina 1, Venezuela 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Argentina 1, Venezuela 3.

  3. Post update

    Matías Suárez (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ronald Hernández (Venezuela).

  5. Post update

    Juan Foyth (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Juanpi (Venezuela).

  7. Post update

    Domingo Blanco (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Roberto Rosales (Venezuela).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Venezuela. Jan Carlos Hurtado replaces Jhon Murillo.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Argentina) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  11. Booking

    Juanpi (Venezuela) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Juanpi (Venezuela).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Darío Benedetto (Argentina) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Walter Kannemann (Argentina).

  16. Post update

    Josef Martínez (Venezuela) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Roberto Pereyra (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Roberto Rosales (Venezuela).

  19. Booking

    Tomás Rincón (Venezuela) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Roberto Pereyra (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.


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