Lionel Messi made a substitute appearance for Argentina on Thursday in their 1-0 victory over Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier.
Messi, whose MLS season will conclude next weekend after Inter Miami’s elimination from the playoffs, entered the match in the 53rd minute, replacing Julian Alvarez. Nicolas Otamendi scored the only goal of the match for the favorites in the third minute.
Following this victory, Argentina leads the South American qualifying group with three wins in as many games. They will travel to Lima for another qualifier against Peru on Tuesday.
Recent reports had linked Messi to a potential loan move to Saudi Arabia or a return to Barcelona after Miami’s elimination from the playoffs.
However, Fabrizio Romano debunked these claims, stating that Messi is fully focused on Inter Miami and his international duties as November brings a relatively busy schedule.
After the conclusion of the MLS season, Messi is expected to participate in World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.
There have also been reports that Inter Miami will travel to China and Japan to play a pair of post-season friendly matches.