Lionel Messi is on track to return to the lineup for Argentina in Copa America vs. Ecuador at NRG Stadium in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) —Lionel Messi is on track to return to the lineup Thursday night for Argentina in Copa America vs. Ecuador at NRG Stadium.

Messi, the eight-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, which goes to the best soccer player in the world, has been dealing with a nagging injury.

However, late reports from media outlets in Argentina indicate Messi is ready to return.

The 37-year-old took a starring turn back in 2016 at NRG Stadium when his curling free kick highlighted Argentina’s win over the United States in Copa America.

In 2022, the man many consider to be the best player of all time delivered Argentina’s first World Cup title in 36 years in a thrilling win over France.

Messi scored two goals and added another on a penalty kick to capture the only major trophy that had eluded him.

Copa America offers another international showcase for soccer in Houston.

NRG Stadium will host seven matches in the 2026 World Cup.

The 2026 schedule in Houston will include a knockout round match on July 4, one of only two World Cup matches on America’s Independence Day.

For more on this story, follow Greg Bailey on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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