Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Messi stages comeback to Argentina's national team

Messi stages comeback to Argentina's national team


Lionel Messi has announced his return to Argentina’s national team, ending his short-lived retirement from international football.

Messi, called it quits after Argentina lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America in June.

But he said in a statement on Friday that he wished to continue playing for his country as he preferred “to help from within”.

“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great.

“We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.

“I want to thank all the fans who wanted me to keep playing for Argentina. I hope we can give them joy very soon,”

Messi’s return has been hailed but a rallying call has been placed to the team to get behind their iconic captain.

One fan, Alenadro Lottito, told Reuters: “I think it’s perfect but he needs help, they (team officials and playing body) need to cooperate with Messi and not leave him all alone, or else, we are lost,”

“Of course he is a dominant player but he needs help. You have to assemble a team so he feels good and that can deliver. There are 11 players in a soccer match and not just one. I see it as a collective problem more than an individual on,“Cristian Pocchia said.

“He gives it all for his team (Barcelona) but for the national side nothing. I respect him a lot, I’m an Argentine but I also know he’s dedicated to something else. He should join another team,” said Paz.

Messi is named in new coach Edgardo Bauza’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela in September.

The top four after 18 games advance to the Russia finals while the fifth-placed team goes into an intercontinental playoff for one more berth.

Messi, is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances.