Lionel Messi Spends His Saturday Watching The U.S. U-20 Men's Youth National Team

After scoring in Argentina's 3-0 win over Venezuela in World Cup qualifying Friday night, Lionel Messi's post-match comments made global headlines as the 34-year-old indicated that this might be his last year in international football.

"I don't know what I will do after the World Cup. I am thinking about what is coming," Messi said. "After Qatar I will have to reassess many things. I don't know, the truth is I don't know. ... But for sure after the World Cup many things will change."

It used to be that Messi's passion for Barcelona could never be questioned whereas his enthusiasm for the national team was the subject of debate. Now in the final years of his legendary career, that narrative has dramatically flipped.

Many of Messi's closest friends at Barça are openly questioning his commitment to the PSG project, whereas Messi's never experienced a better moment with La Albiceleste than the one he's currently living (Copa América champions and undefeated through 16 games in World Cup qualifying).

Just contrast Messi's most recent appearance with PSG — where his own supporters jeered and whistled his every touch at the Parc des Princes — with Friday night's love-in at La Bombonera

But it's clear that Messi's love for the game remains undiminished.

The Argentina national team returned to its AFA National Training Center in Buenos Aires on Saturday for a recovery session, and what do you do after that if you're the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner?

You stick around and watch Argentina's U-20 side play against the United States U-20s of course.

Also watching were Ángel Di María, Leo Paredes and Lucas Ocampos. It might have helped that Argentina's U-20 team was coached by Javier Mascherano. 

The U.S. U-20 men's youth national team arrived in Buenos Aires for friendlies against Argentina and River Plate to continue its preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Honduras. That tournament, being held between June 18 and July 3, determines which four teams qualify for the U-20 World Cup (the semifinalists) and the two that make the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris (the finalists).

Philadelphia's famed academy has four players on the roster, and two of them — 18-year-old forward Quinn Sullivan and 18-year-old midfielder Paxten Aaronson — were on the scoresheet in a 2-2 draw.

Brian Aguirre of Newell's Old Boys scored Argentina's first and then Independiente's Julián Romero got the equalizer in the 90th minute.

Videos you might like