The wait is over for Lionel Messi fans across the globe. The Argentine will finally return to the international arena today after coming out of retirement. 

 

The FC Barcelona superstar, who retired after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile earlier this year, will start for Argentina against their oldest rival Uruguay in the qualifying group stage match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

 

 

 

 

Argentina and Uruguay's rivalry goes back to 1901 when the two sides clashed for the very first time. Argentina won that fixture 3-2 and ever since the Argentines lead the head to head count battle 83-59 with 42 matches that ended in a draw.

 

Thursday's contest will be their 184th meeting and will be played at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza where fans will get to watch football stalwarts- Messi and Luis Suarez - who both play for FC Barcelona lock horns against each other.

 

Ever since Suarez moved from Liverpool to the Spanish giants, he has shared a brilliant bond with his 'Barca-senior' and the two have been complimenting each other with their respective styles of play.

 

With 13 points from the first six games, Uruguay currently lead the CONMEBOL zone (South America) of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Meanwhile, Argentina has had a shaky start and now rank third with 11 points.

 

South America's group in the qualifiers features 10 teams, that will play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams will gain entry into the main draw of the World Cup at Russia.

 

Date - September 1, 2016.

 

Time - 7:30 p.m. EST (5 a.m. IST [Friday] )

 

Venue - Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina.

 

Live telecast - Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD (India), beIN Sports, Fubo TV (USA), TyC Sports (Argentina), VTV (Uruguay).