Lionel Messi: I did not deceive anybody about international retirement

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scored on his return to the international stage

Lionel Messi addressed the media after returning to International football in the World Cup qualifiers and stated that his earlier decision to retire was not meant to deceive anybody. Messi scored the only goal of the match against Uruguay as Argentina went to the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualification standings on Thursday.

Lionel Messi took the football fraternity by storm when he announced his decision to retire from International football following Argentina’s successive Copa America final defeat to Chile. Argentina lost the Copa America Centenario final on penalties, however, Messi seems to have been concerned about the problems within Argentina’s football government.

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Expressing regret for the disturbance caused due to his decision, Messi claims he will do whatever he can to imbibe confidence which can help the country overcome problems while he also applauded the fans for their overwhelming support. Further, Messi credited the newly appointed manager of Argentina national team Eduardo Bauza for convincing him to return from retirement.

"I am very grateful [to return to the national team]," Messi told TV Publica. "But I did not deceive anybody when I retired, I felt that. We were very disappointed with what had happened, but after that I thought better. I had a conversation with the Paton [Bauza] and the people as well accompanied me through it."

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Lionel Messi will be with the national team throughout the international break, however, he could miss out on the clash against Venezuela. Speaking about his injury, he said, "My groin hurts a lot but I wanted to be here after all the chaos I created, but saying that I wouldn't return and then saying I would.

“It is messed up and it could get worse. I always want to play, but the truth is that the season is just starting and there are a lot of important matches ahead of us. I'll see what the doctor says and go by how I feel.”


Fans hung banners at the stadium in Mendoza to show their support for their returning loved one. One said: 'Messi doesn't abandon us,' another read: 'Leon, don't leave us again.' Messi responded to their warm welcome as he told reporters, "I never imagined how the fans were going to respond when I said that [retirement]. Right from the beginning I received all kinds of messages of support and love. From the time we arrived in Mendoza, the fans have been incredible. Everything has been special from the time I touched down in Argentina.”

Asked about the problems within Argentina’s football association, Messi said the situation was no secret but is optimistic that the problems will be resolved soon. He continued, "Everyone knows what Argentina football is going through. Little by little it is going to get resolved. We must help any way we can."

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