Barcelona's Lionel Messi has been called up to the Argentina national team for the first time since the World Cup in Russia.

The 31-year-old went on a self-imposed hiatus from international football following the tournament in Russia, where La Albiceleste were knocked out in the round of 16 by the eventual champions France.

Along with Barça's Messi in Lionel Scaloni's side, which was announced on Thursday, there is also a place for the returning Manuel Lanzini, who was injured in the buildup to the World Cup and has had to sit out the majority of this season.

Lanzini only returned to action for West Ham at the end of February but he's now featured in their last three games in the Premier League, earning an immediate call up for Argentina.

The 26-year-old will join fellow Premier League stars Roberto Pereyra, Nicolás Otamendi and Juan Foyth for Argentina's upcoming matches against Venezuela and Morocco.

Watford's Pereyra has been one of Javi Gracia's stand out players this season and has helped guide the Hornets up to seventh place in the Premier League table.

His six-goal tally so far this season places him behind only Troy Deeney in the club's goalscoring charts, level on league goals with Gerard Deulofeu.

Defenders Otamendi and Foyth have made just a handful of appearances between them this season, but both of them retain their place in Scaloni's squad.


Manchester City's Otamendi has featured just 14 times for the reigning Premier League champions following the emergence of Aymeric Laporte as their star defender this season.

While Tottenham youngster Foyth is still on the periphery of Mauricio Pochettino's side, but he's started each of his seven league appearances this season.