If one man can tempt Lionel Messi to reverse his shock decision to retire from international football, it’s the Argentina legend Diego Maradona.
Messi, utterly dejected after losing a third major tournament final in as many years on Sunday evening, told reporters he felt it was in everyone’s best interests if he quit international football.
However, Maradona completely disagrees with the world’s best player and has posted a message on Facebook today calling for Argentina’s number 10 to reverse his decision.
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“Lio must go on in the national team. Because he has a lot to give, and he will come to Russia in conditions to become world champion,” Maradona wrote on Facebook.
“I would like to talk with him. They left him alone. And I do not want to leave him alone.”
Maradona's Facebook post
Messi speaking in heat of the moment?
Some of those who know Messi - including Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero - believe the Barcelona superstar may have just reacted in the heat of the moment.
Messi was desperate to end his long wait for a major international trophy and Argentina were favourites to beat Chile in the Copa America final at the weekend.
That Messi missed in the penalty shoot-out left him emotional and may have convinced him that international football wasn’t worth the subsequent pain and heartache that it can sometimes bring.
"I think Leo spoke heatedly, because we've let a good opportunity escape," Romero was quoted as saying by Goal on Monday. "He has the same thoughts as us."
Messi might not reverse his decision
Messi, however, had time to cool down before he spoke with reporters.
The 29-year-old will have thought carefully before making such a big announcement and there’s a real chance he’ll never play for Argentina again.
"It's been four finals, I tried," Messi, who has represented his country on 113 occasions, was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over.
"I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, then for everyone.
"I think there's a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.
"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back."
Has Lionel Messi played his final match for Argentina - or can Diego Maradona convince him to reverse his decision? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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