As the news and heat of the retirement of Messi from international football floods the air, Argentine star and football legend Diego Maradona has called on Lionel Messi not to quit international football, after the Argentina captain announced his retirement on Sunday following Copa América final defeat.
Maradona who was captain of his country in the their second World Cup triumph in 1986, was among the many leading personalities to speak out in support of Messi, who appeared badly affected by his miss in the penalty shootout loss to Chile in New Jersey, but felt he should not give up yet.
The 29-year-old Barcelona forward and a multiple trophy winner with Barcelona, has suffered four final defeats with the national team, three in the Copa América and at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.M
Maradona told the Argentinian daily La Nacion that“Messi must carry on in the national team, because he still has a lot to give, because he’ll get to Russia 2018 World Cup with the chances of being world champion,” .
Maradona who played in two world cup finals said “He has to lean more on the lads who can help him take the team forward and less on those who say he should leave,”. “Messi was abandoned and I don’t want to abandon him. That’s why I want to talk with him.
A frustrated Messi once said he would swap his five World Player of the Year awards for one title with Argentina, and this could just be the reason he announced after the match against Chile in the United States that he was leaving the national team