The Argentina national football team is set to welcome their star striker Lionel Messi back for two international matches this month. Argentina will play two friendly matches against Brazil and Uruguay, the former on November 15 at the King Saud University Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where Messi will play against Barcelona team-mate Arthur Melo. On November 18, 2019, three days after the previous match, Messi will play against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay at the Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel.
The Barcelona star's last game for his nation came in the Copa America 2019 third-place play-off, where he was sent off after his clash with Chile midfielder Gary Medel. Tensions between the star and the governing body CONMEBOL had been inflamed during Argentina's 0-2 semi-final defeat to hosts Brazil, with the Selecao's second goal following an alleged foul in the penalty area on Sergio Aguero. The decision not to consult VAR was a particular source of contention.
Messi has served a three-month ban for comments he made in the wake of Argentina’s loss to Chile in the third-place playoff match at the Copa América, with the forward accusing governing body CONMEBOL of corruption after being sent off and suggesting that Brazil would receive favourable treatment in the final against Peru, which Brazil won 3-1.
During his ban period, Messi missed four exciting clashes of Argentina against strong opponents like Chile, Mexico, Germany, and Ecuador. The Messi-less Argentina squad outplayed a 0-0 draw against Chile in the previous friendly match. It was then followed by an impressive 4-0 win of Argentina over Mexico and a 2-2 draw with Germany in the friendly matches. Recently in the enthralling friendly encounter against Ecuador, Argentina enjoyed a 6-1 victory at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero Stadium in Spain, which was missed by the star forward Messi due to his controversial ban.