Edgardo Bauza has named his first Argentina squad, with the returning Lionel Messi headlining those named for the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela after his international U-turn.
The Barcelona star has reversed his decision to call time on his international career after Argentina lost on penalties to Chile at the Copa America in June, his fourth defeat in a major international final.
Following a huge campaign in his homeland, which gained the support of the nation’s president Mauricio Macri, record goalscorer Messi was persuaded to return after talks with Bauza.
After he confirmed his return in a statement prior to the squad’s announcement on Friday, Messi was duly included in Argentina’s 27-man party.
Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain is not named, with club team-mate Paulo Dybala, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa, Atletico Mineiro’s Lucas Pratto and River Plate’s Lucas Alario the forwards joining Messi in the squad.
Argentina sit third in South America’s 10-team qualifying standings, with three wins, two draws and a defeat from their opening six games.
Their first opponents, Uruguay – who they face at home on September 1 – are top of the table, while their away match five days later comes against a Venezuela side who sit bottom.
Argentina squad to play Uruguay and Venezuela:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Mariano Andujar (Estudiantes), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres).
Defenders: Facundo Roncaglia (Celta), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Emmanuel Mas (San Lorenzo), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis (Espanyol), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Matias Kranevitter (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Augusto Fernandez (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Inter), Javier Pastore (PSG), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Nicolas Gaitan (Atletico Madrid), Angel Di Maria (PSG).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Pratto (Atletico Mineiro), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus) and Lucas Alario (River).
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