Lionel Messi links up with Argentina ahead of Copa América

Lionel Messi has joined Argentina‘s squad ahead of the upcoming Copa América.

The Inter Miami forward took part in his first training session with the Albiceleste on Monday afternoon at his club’s training complex in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Messi, 36, sat out Argentina’s international friendlies against El Salvador and Costa Rica in March with a hamstring problem.

The Argentina captain scored his 12th league goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-3 league draw with St. Louis City.

Messi has also had nine assists in 12 league appearances to help Inter Miami remain at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, one season after the team missed out on the playoffs.

“I think it’s good that he’s had continuity, that he played after his injury, that is important,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said of Messi.

Argentina have friendlies against Ecuador on June 9 and Guatemala five days later. Scaloni has until June 12 to reduce his 29-man squad to 26 players.

Argentina begin their Copa America title defence on June 20 against Canada. The World Cup winners also face Chile and Peru in Group A.