It was supposed to be a night for Lionel Messi but it was Salomon Rondon who was star of the show.
This was the return of the Argentine genius to his national team after taking a break following the World Cup last summer.
A friendly in Madrid he didn’t have far to travel but Lionel Messi will be wishing he had extended his international break by one more game.
After only six minutes an excellent long ball over the top was superbly brought down by Salomon Rondon on the edge of the box, the Newcastle striker then applying a brilliant volleyed finish.
Venezuela never looked back from that point on, going on to record only their second ever win in 24 matches.
Murillo and an own goal assured Rondon and his teammates of the win, with Martinez getting a consolation for Argentina.
The Newcastle forward went close to scoring again just before the break, then was subbed on 72 minutes after leading the line in a great performance.
As for Lionel Messi, he showed some flashes of his usual brilliance and he played the full 90 minutes but it was not to be his night.
Then to make matters worse, Argentina announced after the game that Messi would miss Tuesday’s friendly against Morocco with a groin problem, although it isn’t thought to be serious.
As for Salomon Rondon and Venezuela, they face Catalonia in Girona on Monday.
Newcastle United internationals:
Wednesday 20 March Wales 1 Trinidad and Tobago 0
Paul Dummett made his third start for Wales, playing the opening 61 minutes in this friendly win.
Thursday 21 March – Slovakia 2 Hungary 0
Martin Dubravka kept a clean sheet as Slovakia won their European Championship qualifier
Thursday 21 March – USA 1 Ecuador 0
DeAndre Yedlin came on as a sub for the last 22 minutes but played as a winger in the friendly win.
Thursday 21 March – England U21s 1 Poland U21s 1
Freddie Woodman was an unused substitute as England U21s got a draw in this friendly.
Friday 23 March – Venezuela 3 Argentina 1 (Neutral venue – Madrid, Spain) –
Salomon Rondon scores after only six minutes as Venezuela stun Lionel Messi and Argentina.
Friday 22 March – Paraguay v Peru (Neutral venue – New Jersey, USA) Miguel Almiron
Saturday 21 March – Ghana v Kenya – Christian Atsu
Saturday 23 March – Georgia v Switzerland – Fabian Schar
Sunday 24 March Wales v Slovakia – Paul Dummett and Martin Dubravka
Sunday 24 March – DR Congo v Liberia – Mo Sangare
Monday 25 March – Catalonia v Venezuela (Neutral venue – Girona, Spain)– Salomon Rondon
Monday 25 March – Denmark U20s v Romania U20s (Neutral venue – Marbella, Spain) – Elias Sorensen
Tuesday 26 March – Paraguay v Mexico (Neutral venue – Santa Clara, USA) Miguel Almiron
Tuesday 26 March – Ivory Coast v Liberia – Mo Sangare
Tueday 26 March – Switzerland v Denmark – Fabian Schar
Tuesday 26 March – USA v Chile – DeAndre Yedlin
Tuesday 26 March – England U21s v Germany U21s – Freddie Woodman
Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland) and Yoshinori Muto (Japan) were both left out this time by their respective countries.