"Grateful for all the love" - Lionel Messi reacts to Argentina superstar's heartfelt message when he announced retirement in 2016

Lionel Messi on Enzo Fernandez
Lionel Messi on Enzo Fernandez's letter in 2016

Lionel Messi recently admitted reading the message that Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez wrote to him as a 15-year-old. The Chelsea star, as a youngster, was emotional after the Barcelona legend announced a sudden retirement in 2016 following their Copa America heartbreak.

Argentina were beaten by Chile in the Copa America Centenario final in the penalty shootout after the match finished goalless after extra time. Messi missed his penalty and disappointedly announced his retirement from the national team immediately.

Speaking to Televisión Pública, Messi admitted that he read the letter written by Enzo in which he urged the Argentine to keep his chin up. He said:

"I saw Enzo's message, it's amazing, I'm grateful for all the love from the beginning."

Messi did not go through with the retirement for long and announced his decision to return to the national team two months later.

What did Enzo Fernandez write to Lionel Messi?

Enzo Fernandez wrote an emotional letter in which he thanked Lionel Messi for the hard work he put into the national team. He added that they were never going to feel 1% of the pressure the now-Inter Miami star has felt in his career.

He wrote on Facebook:

"How are we going to convince you if we are disastrous? How are we going to convince you if in our lives we have never had 1% of the pressure that you have on your shoulders? That you get up in the morning and look in the mirror and know that a crowd of more than 40 million people not only want you to do things perfectly, but it's also been ridiculously imposed that they can demand them from you."

Enzo added:

"How are we going to convince you if we could not understand that you are a human being, a person with unmatched talent, the best player on the planet but a person anyway. How are we going to convince you if we don't stop for a second to realize that you are not responsible for the anger that losing brings us, which often has more to do with our own frustrations that arise. Let's look in the mirror and ask ourselves, what if we demand of ourselves 1% of what we demand of this boy that we don't even really know?"

Enzo Fernandez played a key role in helping Lionel Messi achieve his FIFA World Cup dream last year. He was a vital part of the Argentina side that won the tournament in Qatar.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava