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Messi must be 'taken care of', feels Argentinian President

Mauricio Macri pleaded with Leo Messi to come out of retirement

Messi Argentina President Copa America
Lionel Messi missed a crucial penalty for Argentina in the Copa America final

Lionel Messi’s retirement is the biggest news in Argentina, and the footballing universe at the moment, with the Argentinian President the latest to wade into the debate. Mauricio Macri revealed that he had pleaded with Lionel Messi to reconsider his retirement, opining that the Barcelona forward is Argentina’s greatest treasure that the South American country must ‘take care of.’

Messi announced his international retirement in the imeediate aftermath of Argentina’s heart-breaking loss to Chile in a penalty shootout of the Copa America Centenario final, which meant that the Barcelona forward has gone his entire international career without winning a major trophy for the Albiceleste.

Also read : 15 moments that illustrate Lionel Messi's international career 

Macri was asked by reporters about Messi’s decision and responded, “I spoke with him to congratulate him and tell him he had done a great championship.” However, the 57th Argentinian President added that he was confused by the criticism surrounding Messi, saying “"I don't understand. The truth is that it's a joy, a gift from God, to have the best player in the world in a country like ours.”

“Messi is the biggest thing we have in Argentina, so you have to take care of him.”

Messi should ignore critics

Despite the outpouring of sympathy that followed Leo Messi’s announcement, the Argentinian forward copped plenty of criticism as well, especially since he missed a penalty in the shootout, leading to allegations of him not being mentally strong, as Maradona previously claimed, saying he had ‘no personality’.

Also read : Lionel Messi shows why Cristiano Ronaldo is stronger than him  

Macri does not share the same opinion, revealing that he had told the Barcelona forward to ignore the widespread criticism, saying “I told him not to pay attention to all the comments being made because, in truth, we are very happy.”

The loss to Chile was Messi’s fourth consecutive loss in a final, with him having failed to score in any of them. It was a culmination of three successive losses in as many years, with Argentina losing out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 Copa America and the Copa America Centenario.

This stands in stark contrast to Messi’s record with Barcelona, where he has racked up the trophies. The Argentinian forward returns to familiar and welcoming arms of Barcelona, having failed to make any additional comments after announcing his retirement.

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