Luis Suárez returned to Uruguay’s national team on Monday for two South American World Cup qualifying matches, including one at Argentina versus Lionel Messi.
The 36-year-old Gremio striker, one of the top scorers in the Brazilian league with 14 goals in 29 matches, is in the squad that will play in Buenos Aires on Thursday and host Bolívia five days later.
World Cup champion Argentina leads South American qualifying with 12 points. Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela come next with seven points each from four matches.
The match will see former Barcelona teammates Messi and Suárez face off ahead of their impending reunion at MLS side Inter Miami CF next season.
Grêmio coach Renato Gaúcho confirmed that Suárez will depart the Porto Alegre-based club at the end of the Brazilian Serie A season in December despite being only halfway through the two-year contract he signed in December 2022.
Suárez has agreed to a one-year deal with an option for a second year, sources told ESPN earlier in November, with the Uruguay veteran needing only to sign his contract to complete the move.
Fede Valverde was asked on Monday how he and his teammates would try to stop Messi in their upcoming CONMEBOL qualifier, to which the Uruguay and Real Madrid star laughed and said: “I don’t know how to stop Messi, I have never been able to.
“I played a lot of matches against him when he was with Barcelona and Casemiro [when he played for Madrid] was always able to deal with Leo. He must be respected because he is one of the best in the world.”