Global football icon Lionel Messi is set to return to international football despite announcing his retirement after this summer’s Copa America tournament.
The footballing world was sent into shock when Messi announced his retirement from international football after an agonising loss in the final of the Copa America to Chile earlier this summer. However, if reports from Argentine newspaper Ole are to be believed, Lionel Messi could be set to announce his comeback on the international stage and represent his country in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Lionel Messi was left heartbroken after losing his third international final in a row — FIFA World Cup 2014, Copa America 2015 and Copa America 2016 — and announced his retirement while speaking to reporters after the penalty shoot-out loss to Chile.
The Argentine FA recently announced the appointment of Edgardo Bauza, who has spent all of his managerial career in Argentina, as the national team coach. Ole report that the new manager is flying to Barcelona next week for a face-to-face meeting with the Argentine legend about his return to the international setup and is quietly confident of convincing the forward to reconsider his retirement.
Lionel Messi is the highest goalscorer in the history of the Argentina national team, with 55 goals to his name from 113 caps. The former Argentine skipper came agonisingly close to emulating his idol Diego Maradona by becoming a World Cup winning captain, losing narrowly to a Mario Gotze-inspired Germany in Brazil in 2014.
The five-time Ballon D’or winner is arguably the best footballer of his generation and Bauza knows the forward could be a crucial part of his plans as he aims to build a strong Argentine team to finally win a major international trophy in the near future.