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Argentina FA chief opens up about Lionel Messi's international future

ANALYST
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1.37K   //    14 Nov 2018, 13:37 IST

France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

What's the story?

Argentina Football Association president Claudio Tapia has opened about about Barcelona ace Lionel Messi's international future, amid rumours of his retirement from the national team.

In case you didn't know...

Following Argentina's torrid World Cup campaign, Messi told the Argentina FA that he would like to be excused from international duties with his national team for the rest of the year.

The World Cup exit undoubtedly affected the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who was under a lot of pressure during the campaign, with plenty hoping he would single-handedly take his side to victory.

Since his break from the national team, rumours have been rife of Messi's retirement from international football.

The Barcelona had previously retired from the national team in 2016 after losing consecutive Copa America finals to Chile.

However, he reversed his decision two months later and helped Argentina qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Amid the rumours, the Argentina FA insisted that their star would make his return, even refusing to allow any other player to take the Barcelona star's number 10 shirt.

The heart of the matter

Argentina FA president Tapia has expressed his confidence in Messi's return to international football saying (via Daily Star), "We have the best in the world [Messi], which gives you more possibilities to do better."

"[But] now is the time to allow him to chew the disappointment of what happened at the World Cup and I have no doubt he will continue.

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"I haven't spoken to him because it's not the time but I know what he feels for this jersey."

The Argentine ace has 128 caps and 65 goals for his national team so far.

What's next?

As the international break is upon us, Argentina is set to play against Mexico this Friday. The team will then set off to Mendoza where they have been scheduled to take part in international friendlies.

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