Lionel Messi suffered a disappointing return to Argentina action during their clash with Venezuela.
Having enjoyed time away from international duties after the 2018 World Cup, Messi pulled on the famous white and blue jersey for the first time eight months.
However, there was to be no dream comeback for the Barcelona superstar, suffering an agonising 3-1 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Goals from Salomon Rondon, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez were enough to give the underdogs victory, neutralising a strike from Lautaro Martinez after half-time.
The Spanish media quickly noted that Messi looked ‘tired’ and ‘fatigued’ during the game, while also predicted that Argentina duties will continue to take their toll.
Nevertheless, it quickly emerged after the game that Messi will be able to put his feet up once again, because he was going to miss the friendly with Morocco.
A statement from Barcelona explained: “Whilst he would feature from start to finish, a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break.”
So there you have it, despite there being no sign of injury during the game, Argentina are playing it safe and Messi will make a tentative return to his club side.
There’s only problem, though – the Moroccan Football Federation aren’t having it. A report emerged in Catalan publication Sport, claiming that the Moroccan authorities are ‘demanding an explanation’ for Messi’s absence and clearly the pubis knock wasn’t sufficient.
They explain: “Messi complained about feeling discomfort in his pubis and was released from Argentina’s training camp in order to resume his recovery in Barcelona.
“However that has upset the Moroccan Football Federation and they’ve asked for an explanation as to why Argentina’s best player won’t be out on the pitch against them.
“This is, in part, due to the fact Argentina promised to play their best available team in the fixture.”
The news comes after reports that Morocco had signed a number of strange clauses surrounding the friendly, many of which revolved around the involvement of Messi himself.
Moroccan sources explain that photographs couldn’t be taken of Messi after the game, opposition players couldn’t pose for selfies and the 31-year-old couldn’t give post-match interviews.
It was even claimed that Morocco players were going to be banned from making tough tackles on the Barcelona star, although that won’t be a problem now.
It seems likely that Morocco will be able to get an answer from their Argentinean counterparts, but it might not be the response they want to hear.