Mascherano: It would have been 'a sin' for Messi to stay in international retirement

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Javier Mascherano says it would have been a sin had Lionel Messi stayed in international retirement and not played for Argentina.

Messi announced his decision to quit international football after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final on penalties for the second consecutive year back in June.

However, the Barcelona superstar reversed his retirement in August and could be involved in their World Cup qualifier with Uruguay on Thursday.

The 29-year-old trained on Tuesday having been hampered by a hamstring injury.

Speaking at a media conference, his Barca team-mate Mascherano said: "Leo made a good decision.

"It would have been a sin, something very sad, to not see him playing in the Argentina shirt.

"It would have had consequences for the team and impact at the global level."

Argentina are third in the CONMEBOL qualifying group, two points behind leaders Uruguay and second-placed Ecuador.