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Lionel Messi poses in front of World Cup mural on return to Argentina

The Inter Miami star is back in his homeland ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil and celebrated with an Instagram post.

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Lionel Messi is back in Argentina and took the time to pose in front of a mural celebrating the 2022 World Cup triumph.

The 36-year-old flew back to Buenos Aires for the Albiceleste’s upcoming international fixtures. On arrival Messi was photographed in front of a giant painting depicting himself lifting the famous trophy last December.

Messi posted the picture on Instagram, along with the caption ‘Feliz de volver siempre’, or ‘Always happy to be back’.

Lionel Messi flew to Argentina after featuring in the Noche d’Or game between Inter Miami and New York City FC. The two teams did not make it to the playoffs so instead played a friendly match to celebrate Messi’s historic eighth Ballon d’Or triumph.

Messi and Argentina schedule for international break

After their World Cup triumph in Qatar Argentina enjoyed a nation-wide celebration, but the team are now back in action to qualify for the next tournament. The 2026 edition will be co-hosted by United States, Mexico and Canada and the holders no longer receive automatic qualification.

This qualification cycle has started brilliantly for Argentina, with four wins from their first four games, but their next two fixtures are among the toughest in qualifying.

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On Thursday 16 November they take on Uruguay, who are currently second in the South American qualification table. Marcelo Bielsa’s side secured a 2-0 win over Brazil in their last outing.

Argentina’s second game of the international break will see them take on eternal rivals Brazil on Tuesday 21 November. Brazil have not been at their best so far in qualifying but they are the only side in CONMEBOL who can compete with Argentina’s strength in depth.