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.
The country's all-time top goalscorer has captained Argentina since 2011 and skippered them to three major finals which all ended in defeat.
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.
Lionel Messi will not be part of the Argentina team this year. Not until further notice. https://t.co/L0Z7YtjO5D- Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) August 14, 2018
Lionel Messi will reportedly skip the rest of Argentina's remaining fixtures in 2018.- Coral (@Coral) August 15, 2018
This follows him skipping the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/Z4e3f2ZH3d
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.
"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