Barcelona, Aug 31 (IANS) Argentinas defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano said it would have been a sin had ace forward Lionel Messi stayed in international retirement and not played for the national football side.

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 plan 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, reports goal.com.

Speaking ahead of the match, his Barcelona 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.

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