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Lionel Messi Won't Play For Argentina Again This Year

Lionel Messi Won't Play For Argentina Again This Year

Lionel Messi is set to go on a break from Argentina games for the rest of this year.

After a difficult World Cup where he scored one goal and Argentina were eliminated at the round of 16 by eventual winners France, Messi is believed to be taking time off from international duty.

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The country's all-time top goalscorer has captained Argentina since 2011 and skippered them to three major finals which all ended in defeat.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The 2016 Copa America final loss to Chile on penalties was the latest and led to Messi's initial retirement from international duty, though he later changed his mind and more or less dragged La Albiceleste to the showpiece in Russia, where they ultimately underperformed.

And though it's said he's not called it quits for a second time just yet, ESPN FC report that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will not be playing in friendlies for his nation until further notice.

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Argentina, now being coached by interim boss by Lionel Scaloni, have games against Guatemala in Los Angeles on September 7, Colombia in New York on September 11 before they play a friendly with Brazil in October.

Carlos Tevez, a former Argentina teammate of Messi's before he retired from international football, says he'd understand if the 31-year old focused purely on his Barcelona career.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"I would understand if Messi did not return to the national team, when you give everything and they criticize you it is bad for the group and for him," he is quoted as telling reporters.

"I understand it because I was on that side. It's very personal, Leo has to take the time to think. It is always nice to meet again with Messi, we both had a very nice stage in the national team."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi, International Football, Argentina, World Cup

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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