'Messi return to Argentina scares me'

Messi, 31, looks set to win his 129th cap on Friday after a nine-month absence from the international arena since the last-16 defeat at Russia 2018 at the hands of eventual winners France.

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The Federation subsequently came to an agreement with FC Barcelona and the captain himself to excuse himself from national team duty for the remainder of the year - which brought speculation of another retirement.

However, the 31-year-old, who's scored 39 goals and registered 21 assists in 37 games across all competitions has been named in caretaker coach Lionel Scaloni's latest squad.

Speaking to Radio Gol, team director Cesar Luis Menotti has questioned Scaloni's decision to call the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"It scares me that Messi plays. I see him emotionally fatigued between the Champions League and the national team.

"I see him very tired. He has a lot of obligations and with a lot of emotional baggage, a lot of responsibilities at his feet."