Lionel Messi returned to Argentina action for their friendly against Venezuela this week.
After the disappointment of a second round exit at the 2018 World Cup, the Barcelona superstar decided to pass on international duties for the remainder of the year.
However, with a new calendar year ahead of him and another shot at winning a trophy with Argentina in the pipeline, Messi has pulled on the famous blue and white jersey once again.
The venue of choice - Wanda Metropolitano - was somewhat foreboding, though, as Messi had never scored there and things certainly got off to a difficult start.
Venezuela fired themselves into an early lead thanks to the in-form Salomon Rondon, before Jhon Murillo doubled their advantage just minutes before the break.
Argentina vs Venezuela
It certainly wasn't the return that Messi would have envisaged and he had to deliver some dribbling magic to create any clear chances for Argentina.
One such occasion came during the opening 45 minutes, when the 31-year-old created a chance out of nowhere and decided to run at Venezuela from the centre-circle.
Messi showed remarkable close-control to breeze past three opposing players, before casually whipping a delightful cross into the penalty area.
Messi's dribble and cross
Naturally, it almost resulted in a goal with Lautaro Martínez getting on the end of the cross, but the striker saw his header denied by the left hand of Wuilker Farinez.
It truly was Messi at his very best and exactly what Argentina have been missing from their side.
If Lionel Scaloni is going to lead them to Copa America glory this year, they'll need more moments of magic like that. Check out the full clip down below:
Seriously, is there a better dribbler in world football right now?
It's the latest example of how Messi can create a goal-scoring opportunity out of essentially nothing, progressing from build-up play in the midfield to a devastating cross.
Moments like those are also why Argentina are often accused of relying on their star player and the score at the time certainly corroborated that theory.
Messi continued his glorious form on Spanish shores, but his return to international football highlighted the challenges he faces in the Argentina fold.
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