Friendly: Messi Scores On Return After International Ban As Argentina Beat Brazil

Lionel Messi made a successful return to international football as he scored the only goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win against Brazil in Friday’s friendly in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

It was a measure of revenge on Brazil for this summer’s Copa America semi-final defeat.

Messi, 32, was banned for three months by CONMEBOL after criticising the South American governing body, both after the semi-final loss and a third-place play-off win over Chile in which he was sent off following an altercation with Gary Medel.

However, the Barcelona forward made a triumphant return as he scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute.

Gabriel Jesus hit a tame effort straight at goalkeeper Esteban Andrada after seven minutes, but moments later earned a penalty when he was fouled by Leandro Paredes in the area.

The Manchester City striker took the spot-kick, only to fire wide from 12 yards in the 10th minute.

Two minutes later Argentina were awarded a penalty of their own when Messi was tripped by Alex Sandro.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker saved Messi’s spot-kick, but he was left with a simple task to tap in the rebound.

Messi could have doubled his tally a minute before half-time when he burst clear of the Brazil defence, but Alisson stood firm to save his low effort.

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