Juan Roman Riquelme wants Lionel Messi to be allowed to pick the next Argentine coach
Former Argentina midfield maestro Juan Roman Riquelme has said that Lionel Messi should have a significant say in who the next Albiceleste manager is.
Argentina have been searching for a new manager after former Barcelona boss Tata Martino resigned after Argentina’s heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Chile in the final of the Copa America Centenario hosted by the United States.
Riquelme, one of Argentina’s most distinguished midfielders has given his thoughts on the search for the new manager, as well as the chaos that has engulfed the footballing world in the country after Messi’s declaration that he was retiring from the national team.
"In my humble opinion, they should ask Messi who he wants as coach of Argentina, The coach should put the team together with Messi, make sure he is happy because he is the only one who can lead us to victory."
It’s clear Riquelme feels that everything should be done to convince Messi to return to the national team, that includes putting him at the center of all sporting decisions. The 38-year-old San Fernando native notched up 57 appearances for Argentina himself, scoring 17 goals whilst bagging the most assists at the 2006 World Cup, a time he was at the peak of his powers.
“The coach should even be asking him who he wants on the team, The issue here is that he must feel at home. The more comfortable he feels, the bigger lead he will give us and that will be better for the team. This is the national team of Argentina we are talking about here, not a club that plays on Sundays.
“Here they will just have three days to prepare. He must feel comfortable because we don't have a lot of time to prepare. This is not like a club where the coach has a lot of time and power to watch the players and evaluate and convince them,” Riquelme went on to say.
Riquelme spent three years at Barcelona himself, before garnering worldwide acclaim with his performances for Villareal from 2003 to 2007. Riquelme went on to add that he thinks everyone in Argentina should unite to bring Messi to don the Argentina shirt again.
"Why do we doubt him? It doesn't make sense because we all agree that he is the best in the world, he is ours, I hope all of Argentina bands together to convince him to return to defend the shirt of his home country. I am giving my opinion as a player. I don't see anything wrong with us asking him who the next coach should be. Or with us asking him sometimes which players should be on the team.
"Sometimes people are bothered by this, but we have to be aware that when you have the best, you must take care of him."