Argentina Manager Makes Final Decision On Lionel Messi’s Shirt Number
Sergio Romero seemed pretty confused by the logic of Argentina to protect Lionel Messi's shirt number. To be fair, there would be many people that would agree with him. It's not like the number was retired when Diego Maradona called it time on his international career.
However, there's always a reason behind these questionable moves. It looks like the former World Cup champions are doing it to keep the door open for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
That's according to Lionel Scaloni, who's the interim manager for Argentina after Jorge Sampaoli's contract was terminated following the World Cup.
Apparently, the shirt number will be Messi's until he makes a final decision on his international career.
"Most of the players that went to the World Cup have kept their numbers," Scaloni said (via GiveMeSport). "In this case, Argentina No 10 belongs to Messi until he says whether or not he will continue.
"In principle, we do not have a negative [answer] from him. I have made the decision that nobody uses it.
"In the future, we will see what happens. For now, nobody has the No.10 because it's exclusively for him and I made the decision."
Whether Messi returns or not is still unclear. You can't blame him if he's unsure about another spell with Argentina, especially when he helped them to qualify for the World Cup and then the team was poor in most of their performances.
The Copa América is taking place in Brazil next year, so there could be the temptation for the 31-year-old Messi, who'll be 32 when the competition rolls around, to lace up his boots one more time.
And let's face it: he could probably be playing for Argentina in the next World Cup for how impressive his form continues to be.
Is Scaloni right to protect the 'sacred' number ten shirt?
Let us know in the comments.