Lionel Messi is considered by many to be one of the greatest players to ever grace a soccer field.
On an individual and club level, the 31-year-old has won everything there is to win, including five Ballons d'Or, nine LaLiga titles and four Champions League titles.
However, that success, with the exception of a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, has, so far, not translated to his international career.
Messi's relationship with Argentina has been one of the most tumultuous relationships of the modern soccer era. While the No. 10 has long been the kingpin of the Albiceleste, he has tasted more heartbreak than glory with his native land.
Messi's First Steps
Perhaps foreshadowing the frustrations that were to follow, Messi's international debut for the Albiceleste - a friendly against Hungary - ended prematurely with a red card.
A year later, in 2006, he played in his inaugural World Cup, where Argentina eventual bowed out at the quarter-final stage to hosts Germany, in what would become a painful theme for the South American nation.
Four years later, in South Africa, Argentina were once again eliminated by the European giants in the quarter-finals.
But the worst was yet to come.
In 2014, Germany would complete the hat-trick against Messi and co. in the most painful way imaginable: by beating them in the final.
A year later, at the 2015 Copa America, it was neighbors (and hosts) Chile's turn to play with Argentine heartstrings, denying their arch rivals in the final by holding their nerve in the penalty shootout.
There was more deja vu to come the next year, at the Copa America Centenario, with Argentina and Chile meeting in the final yet again. And once again, La Roja triumphed in a penalty shootout, this time with Messi missing from the spot.
Retirement and Return
This defeat proved the final straw - at least temporarily - for Messi. After three straight final defeats, the Barcelona man announced his retirement from international soccer.
But he dusted the mothballs off his international cleats a few months later, citing his overbearing love for the national team shirt.
In his last appearance in an international tournament, Argentina scraped through their group at the Russia World Cup in unconvincing fashion, before crashing out against eventual winners France.
Since then, Messi has not been called up to the national team. Rumors of another retirement circulated, with Messi seemingly taking a hiatus from international play.
That is, until now...
🎙 @Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni announced his starting lineup for tomorrow's match versus @SeleVinotinto LIVE on beIN SPORTS 🇦🇷🇻🇪— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) March 21, 2019
The Albiceleste will come out with a back line of five 👀 pic.twitter.com/S0tbebpYXG