Lionel Messi sat out of the second consecutive international break to spend time with his family as he continues to deliberate his future with Argentina.
The 31-year-old shared photos on Instagram with different members of his family as they relaxed in Spain during the break.
There was a picture with wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, as well as another with his niece, Morena and cousin, Emanuel Biancucchi.
Accompanying the image with his niece and cousin in front of an empty goal, Messi wrote the caption: ‘The winning team’.
His cousin, Biancucchi, is also a professional footballler, and currently plays for Melgar in Peru.
Biancucchi, 30, started his career in Germany but has spent the majority of his career to date playing across South America.
The Argentinian also posted a photo of the entire family at around the table ready to eat at a restaurant in Llivia, a province of Girona, Catalonia.
Argentina navigated their way past Iraq without Messi as they won 4-0 on Thursday, but they face a much sterner test against Brazil on Tuesday without the man who captained the country at the World Cup.
Messi has come in for a lot of criticism within his home country for their poor performances of late, least of all from legend Diego Maradona who recently launched an astonishing attack on the Barcelona player.
‘Messi’s a great player, but he’s not a leader. Before talking to the coach and players, he’ll play on the PlayStation,’ Maradona told Fox Sports.
‘Then, on the pitch, he wants to be the leader. He’s the best along with Cristiano Ronaldo but for me, it’s pointless to make a leader out of a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match.’
Another one of Messi’s cousins, Maxi Biancucchi, hit back at Maradona as the tension over Messi’s involvement with the national side continued.
‘It’s ignorant to discredit Leo,’ said Biancucchi. ‘It’s sad to see how someone who boasts of being a leader can talk so badly about a player who’s currently the best we’ve got and will probably be so for a long time yet.’