Argentina star Messi missed his nation's previous four matches due to a suspension for accusing CONMEBOL of favouring hosts Brazil - who won their semi-final meeting - at the Copa America and he was in the thick of the action against Tite's Selecao.
It was Messi's first appearance for Argentina since serving a three-month ban for saying the Copa America was "fixed for Brazil" and the Barcelona superstar was clearly fed up with Tite's complaints from the sidelines. "We had a couple of misses and they had their chances", Messi said.
Tite was also unhappy with the penalty Argentina received a few minutes later, suggesting Alex Sandro's challenge on Messi was a fair one.
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Messi, who scored with a pair of free-kicks in his last game with Barcelona, twice threatened from set pieces in the second half before Liverpool 'keeper Alisson beat away a powerful drive from Paredes.
Brazil - who handed a late debut to Aston Villa striker Wesley - have failed to win in the five games since winning the Copa America. Jesus struggled, Roberto Firmino offered precious little and Willian's impact amounted to little more than a couple of mazy runs that came to nothing.
La Albiceleste had the momentum in the closing minutes but were unable to their chances, with Alisson also playing a big role in keeping the score-line respectable for Brazil as Scaloni's charges claimed the narrow win in the end.