Messi has not played for Argentina since being sent off in the Copa America third-place play-off against Chile in July.
It was the Barcelona superstar's post-match outburst after the semi-final defeat to Brazil that resulted in his suspension, however, as he accused CONMEBOL of corruption and favouring Tite's Copa America hosts.
That earned him a lengthy ban and a $50,000 fine, with Messi missing games against Chile, Mexico, Germany and Ecuador.
But having been included in the squad once again, Messi was straight back into the starting XI for the contest in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Nada nos une más que estos colores 🇦🇷— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) November 11, 2019
¡Estamos listos para defenderla! 💪 pic.twitter.com/YMTdcVA1O0
Joining him in attack was Lautaro Martinez – passed fit after sustaining a head injury with Inter at the weekend – while Sergio Aguero, who like Messi has not featured for Argentina since the Copa America, was on the bench.
There were few surprises in the Brazil starting XI, with Roberto Firmino, Willian and Gabriel Jesus forming the attack in the absence of the injured Neymar.
Real Madrid winger Rodrygo Goes could earn his first cap from the bench.