Report: Messi set to end Argentina exile ahead of Copa America
Alex Livesey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Lionel Messi is reportedly prepared to return to the Argentina setup ahead of this summer's Copa America, according to The Independent's Ed Malyon.

Messi is expected to play in the Madrid friendly against Venezuela on March 22 or in Tangier when Morocco hosts Argentina four days later.

The artful attacker last represented his country at the 2018 World Cup, when eventual champion France beat La Albiceleste 4-3. He was subsequently left out of Lionel Scaloni's first squad for two September friendlies and missed four more non-competitive skirmishes across October and November.

Messi turns 32 in June, so the upcoming Copa America in Brazil could present one of his final few chances to win something aside from the 2005 Under-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics for Argentina. He has played in four Copa Americas and tasted defeat in the final on three occasions.

The latest edition of the Copa America commences June 14. Argentina's opener with Colombia kicks off the following day.

While his influence across 128 international caps has come under harsh scrutiny, he continues to inspire Barcelona. No player across Europe's top five leagues has produced more than his 11 assists, and he edges Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe by one goal in the scoring charts with a remarkable 25 conversions.

In Messi's absence, Argentina won four and drew one of its six friendlies.

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Report: Messi set to end Argentina exile ahead of Copa America
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