July 24, 2024
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Argentina captain Lionel Messi hints retirement from the national team

Argentina captain Lionel Messi hints retirement from the national team
PC: GETTY

Argentina captain Lionel Messi hints retirement by saying that his international future will be determined by his country’s performance at the World Cup in Russia.

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“It will depend on how far we go, how we’re going to finish” at the finals, Messi said in an interview with Sport.

“We’ve just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some difficult moments with the press,” added¬†the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“Notably with the Argentine press because we have differences of opinion over what it means to make these three finals.” Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final 1-0 to Germany after extra time, before suffering successive defeats by Chile on penalties at the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

“There are lots of teams who arrive with lots of confidence, with both a team game and individual talents,” said the five-time world player of the year.

Argentina begin their World Cup campaign against Iceland on Saturday in Moscow. The other teams in group D are Croatia and Nigeria.

Messi announced his international retirement when Argentina lost the Copa America final for the second successive year to Chile in 2016. He said that criticism from media in his home country was a big factor in the big decision.

However, he changed his mind and led Argentina to a poor World Cup qualification campaign with a hat-trick in their must-win final game against Ecuador, to book the berth for Russia.

Lionel Messi hints retirement

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