Argentina's Lionel Messi returned to international duty for the first time since Friday's World Cup, but it was a disappointing night for the future when his side lost 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendship in Madrid.
Messi showed a glimmer of brilliance, but it was not his night that Venezuela put three past their more famous rivals for the first time with goals from Salomon Rondon, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez. Lautaro Martinez scored Argentina's consolation.
The team announced after the loss that Messi will miss Tuesday's fight against Morocco as a security measure after a groin injury. Atlanta United's Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez will also run the fight in Tangier with a hamstring injury.
After the match, Argentina leader Luis Scaloni said: "The second half left us with positive things and the first half with negative ones. They happened that way.
" We learned a lot from this loss. The situations we created were largely part of Messi. This match helped us see how [the others] played with Messi. "
Messi took a sabbatical after his country's early departure from last year's final in Russia, but he returned with a purely new look to the captain throughout the -South American affair at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Venezuela had only hit Argentina once in 23 previous meetings, but they got the perfect start after five minutes when Rondon sent a long pass inside the box and shot a shot past the goalkeeper Franco Armani.
Rondon should have made the two with a header in the 40th but the second goal was only moments away when Murillo took advantage of a quick free kick to scramble to the edge of the box and curl a nice right foot shot into the far corner of the net.
Lautaro Martinez completed a great counter-attack to pull Argentina back in the match after 59 minutes, but their hope was short-lived, and Venezuelan Josef Martinez made it 3-1
And striker Dario Benedetto added: "Messi is the best player in the world, and we have to adapt to the fastest way to him."
After the match, Venezuela chief Rafael Dudamel said he would give up by post due to the political situation surrounding the team.
The country has been involved in an ongoing political and constitutional crisis with more than 50 countries condemning leader Nicolas Maduro by recognizing Juan Guaido as temporary leader.
A representative of Guaido sent a picture of a meeting with the team before the fight, and Dudamel said: "I have spoken to the Vice President and I have made my work available to the board members, for all this time we are navigating very turbulent waters. is politicized and I'm the coach of the whole country. "
Dudamel added that he would continue as a coach f or Venezuela's next match Monday against Catalonia.
Information from Reuters was used in this story.