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Barca's Messi will be fit to face Espanyol despite Argentina injury - sources

Shaka Hislop chooses not to get drawn into comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi following the Argentine's 33rd La Liga hat trick.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez put on a show for the fans at Benito Villamarín Stadium, leading Barcelona to an easy victory.

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly against Morocco on Tuesday but Barcelona expect him to be fit to face Espanyol after the international break, sources have told ESPN FC.

Messi returned to the Argentina team for the first time since the World Cup as they lost 3-1 to Venezuela in Madrid on Friday, playing the 90 minutes but ending the match with a groin problem.

Argentina confirmed that he would return to Barcelona and would not travel with the squad for the game against Morocco.

But...

Messi's Argentina return again shows how deeply rooted La Albiceleste's problems are

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni believes Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala can play together, but it will take some time before it is effective.

It was a familiar story for Lionel Messi on his return to international duty. As he took the field in Madrid for Argentina's friendly against Venezuela, a fan held up a banner with his name written on it. But the banner was upside down -- an appropriate symbol for the way that the Barcelona genius is left mixed up and shaken up by the deficiencies of his compatriots.

Venezuela's 3-1 win highlighted a problem that Argentina have struggled to solve for years -- one which was all too evident in the...

Lionel Messi takes precautionary leave after losing Argentina return

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Argentina's Lionel Messi returned to international duty for the first time since the World Cup on Friday but it was a disappointing night for the forward as his side lost 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly in Madrid.

Messi showed flashes of brilliance but it was not his night as Venezuela put three past their more illustrious rivals for the first time with goals from Salomon Rondon, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez. Lautaro Martinez scored Argentina's consolation.

The team announced after the loss that...

Ronaldo and Messi at the 2022 World Cup? Don't bet against them

Ronaldo and Messi return to international duty, and it's not unthinkable that their eternal rivalry will stretch to the 2022 World Cup.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are back on Friday. It's been two-hundred and sixty-five days since we last saw them, each bowing out on the same day, at the same stage of the World Cup, likely with the same heartache.

Lionel Messi was in Kazan, where his Argentina side had let a 2-1 second-half lead slip in a wild, drunken shootout of a knockout game that saw France advance 4-3. Cristiano Ronaldo was in Sochi, a thousand miles away on the banks of the Black Sea, yet shoulder-to-shoulder with...