Luis Enrique says Lionel Messi's international retirement 'isn't bad'

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Lionel Messi's international retirement last month caught the majority of us by surprise.

To see one of the best players to ever grace the game so publicly give up on his ambition to win a major trophy with Argentina raised a lot of concerns about Messi's current state of mind.

Naturally, he was hurting from falling at the final hurdle of a Copa America triumph for the second time in as many years, but to make such a big decision so soon after the Chile defeat appeared rash.


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Argentina supporters have since pleaded with the 29-year-old to reverse his decision but it looks like Messi does have at least one man supporting his decision - his club manager.

Luis Enrique has made his thoughts on Messi's choice to step away from international football public for the first time and hinted his Argentine maestro had made the right call.

He said: "Speaking as Barcelona's head coach, it wouldn't be bad for us. It means fewer games and trips away for Messi," as reported by Goal.

"I'm not saying it's a perfect situation but he could have more time to rest.

"He said that after a difficult time, after losing a final. So he still needs to confirm whether or not he part of the international team."

Messi has earned 113 caps for his country since making his debut in 2005 but international silverware has continued to elude him, regardless of his best efforts.

It's easy to understand where Enrique is coming from and although Messi still has many years of playing at the highest level ahead, there were a few signs last season that the amount of football the 29-year-old has played over the last ten years is starting to catch up with him.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner missed 13 games for Barcelona during 2015/16 through injury - the most for eight seasons - and as Messi gets older, flying back and forth to South America every couple of months will only increase the toll on his body.

Enrique did add he would like to see Messi play for Argentina again, but would prefer if the forward would wait until after he leaves the Camp Nou dugout before coming out of retirement.

"As a football fan, I would like to keep watching him play for Argentina. But as Barcelona's head coach.... Let's see what happens."

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La Liga
Luis Suarez
Lionel Messi
Argentina Football

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