Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona with a knock after strugging on his return to the Argentina fold.

The forward represented his country for the first time since last year's World Cup on Friday night as his side were beaten by Venezuela.

To make matters worse, Messi picked up a groin injury and will miss Tuesday's friendly against Morocco.

He will be assessed and treated in the Catalan capital and will hope to be fit for Barcelona's Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Manchester United .

Messi showed flashes of brilliance but it was not his night as Venezuela put three past their more illustrious rivals for the first time with goals from Salomon Rondon, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez. Lautaro Martinez scored Argentina's consolation.

Messi couldn't inspire his side to victory

Messi took a sabbatical after his country's last-16 exit from the 2018 finals in Russia but he returned with a clean shaven new look to captain the side in the all-South American affair at Atletico Madrid's Metropolitano stadium.

Venezuela had only beaten Argentina once in 23 previous encounters, but they got the perfect start after five minutes when Rondon brought down a long pass inside the box and crashed a shot past keeper Franco Armani.

Rondon should have made it two with a header in the 40th but the second goal was only moments away as Murillo took advantage of a quick free kick to scamper to the edge of the box and curl a lovely right-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

Lautaro Martinez finished off a superb counter attack to pull Argentina back into the game after 59 minutes but their hopes were short lived and Venezuela's Josef Martinez made it 3-1 from the penalty spot.

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