Argentina manager explains meeting with Lionel Messi

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Football News

Ever since Lionel Messi retired from international duty after losing a second consecutive Copa America final, speculation began circulating when we could expect to see the five-time Ballon d'Or winner back in an Argentina shirt.

And Messi's international future is set to become much clearer after holding a meeting with newly appointed manager Edgardo Bauza on Thursday.

Bauza, who has replaced Gerardo Martino, dismissed the theory he had tried to convince the 29-year-old to make an instant return to the national team.

Argentina face Uruguay and Venezuela in September in World Cup qualifiers next month and according to Goal, Messi is expected to make a statement about his availability in the near future.

After the meeting at Barcelona's training ground, Bauza told reporters: "We didn't speak about his return.

"It was a chat about football. I will call him in the coming days.

"I have no doubt he has a desire to return, but we will have to wait."

The possibility of Messi never making a comeback looked unlikely but Bauza's hint that a return could be on the cards so soon after retiring will be music to the ears of Argentina's loyal supporters.

Messi has struggled to cope with the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders from the Argentine public but the outcry of support he has received since announcing his retirement could just sway him back into the international picture.

One man who may feel apprehensive about a potential comeback is Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Usually having to travel large distances across the globe to play for his nation, Enrique would have felt a lot more comfortable knowing Messi could put his feet up during the various international breaks over the course of the season.

Easing Messi's workload will be key to prolonging his career and after picking a couple of injuries last term, Enrique will need to manage Barca's No. 10 carefully.

While there is no doubting Messi's ability, he will be keen to avoid looking back on his career with any regrets and not winning a major honour with his country certainly has the potential to represent a post-retirement disappointment.

Who knows, perhaps watching rival Cristiano Ronaldo lift the European Championship trophy - just weeks after Messi missed a crucial penalty during the Copa America final shootout - might have been enough to coax him out of retirement alone.

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Argentina Football
World Cup
Lionel Messi
Sergio Aguero

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