Lionel Messi backed to play for Argentina again

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Lionel Messi will play for Argentina at the 2018 World Cup in Russia despite announcing his retirement from international football. 

That's according to the national team's masseuse, Marcelo D'Andrea, who is a personal friend of the Barcelona superstar. 

In an interview with FM Pop, brought to our attention by, D'Andrea tried to calm the country's devastated fans, saying:


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Messi will be back

"I have no doubts that Leo will play at the (2018) World Cup.

"He loves the national team and he will do everything for his country."

Even more surprisingly, the doctor also revealed Messi did not forewarn his team-mates of his shock announcement to retire, which he made after losing the Copa America final to Chile on penalties. 

"No one knew anything about Messi's retirement. He didn't say anything in the locker room", he added. 

The 29-year-old missed from the spot as Argentina succumbed to defeat in a major final for the fourth time in nine years. 

Fans pleading 

Failure to become a champion with his country has clearly hit Messi hard, but it is certainly worth him giving it one more shot in Russia, where his side will be among the favourites having reached the final in 2014.

It's also not just D'Andrea who is hoping for a Messi comeback.

Swathes of fans have been gathering in the streets of Buenos Aires to plead with Argentina's favourite son to reverse his decision, while their president has also tried to intervene. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner must be feeling a lot of love right now from his native land, so maybe there's a chance he'll be in a blue and white jersey again before long. 

Was Messi right to retire from international football? Have your say in the comments. 

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