Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has announced that he has reversed his international retirement and has been included in Argentina’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers, BBC Sport have stated.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was dejected after the Albiceleste lost out on penalties in the Copa America final in the summer, stating that he would walk away from the national side as a result.
However, Messi has admitted that he has had a change of heart and will continue to play for the South American nation.
“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great,” he said.
“We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.”
Throwback to this messi goal pic.twitter.com/DPbsVAta9R
— ️️️️barca (@cuIegirI) August 13, 2016
Messi is already guaranteed to go down in history as one of the best players to ever play the sport – but continuing to represent Argentina gives him the chance to consolidate immortality.
Many in his homeland hold Diego Maradona in higher regard than the current Barcelona star after his exploits in winning the World Cup in 1986.
Despite being Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer, major silverware has alluded Messi so far in his illustrious career – the only black mark against the sublime attacker.
He has lost two Copa America finals and a World Cup final in that time – but, participation and glory in the next World Cup in Russia in 2018 could well be the feat that confirms Messi as the best player to ever come out of Argentina and to play the sport.