Lionel Messi has wished his former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez good luck upon his return to boyhood club Nacional. Suarez moved back to the Uruguayan side in a free transfer this summer.

Suarez had been linked with a move to MLS after leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of last season but opted to return to the place his career began, 16 years after his initial departure.

The attacker hopes to boost his chances of securing a place in the Uruguay squad at the 2022 World Cup in November and his old team-mate has passed on his best wishes.

“You are there. I want to send you a big hug and wish you all the best in this stage,” Messi said in a video that was shared on Twitter by Nacional.

“I know how important it is to be there, to return to your home, to return to live in your country after so long, to prepare for the World Cup.

“I wish you the best.”

The 35-year-old said it was “impossible to reject” Nacional’s offer to head back to his homeland.

The club’s fans began a campaign to bring back their youth academy product by posting videos and messages on social media pleading for his return, using the hashtag #SuarezANacional.