Lionel Messi back in Argentina squad after reversing retirement decision

Barcelona playmaker returns for games against Uruguay and Venezuela
I don’t want to cause any damage,’ he says after talks with Edgardo Bauza

Lionel Messi said of his decision to return to the Argentina squad: ‘We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.’ Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Lionel Messi has been named in Argentina’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers hours after reversing his decision to retire from international football.

The Barcelona playmaker announced he loves Argentina “too much” to walk away from the national team, having announced his international career was over following their penalty shootout loss to Chile in the Copa América final in June.

Following talks with the new Argentina coach, Edgardo Bauza, Messi’s name was included in the squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela next month.

Messi, Argentina’s captain and record goalscorer with 55, said in a statement reproduced by the Argentinian newspaper La Nación: “I see there are many problems in Argentinian football and I don’t intend to create another one. I don’t want to cause any damage, I’ve always tried to do just the opposite, to help all that I can.

“We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.”

Messi said he was quitting international football after missing a penalty in the Copa América final shoot-out in New Jersey. That would have left Messi – one of the most decorated players in history at club level with Barcelona – having never won a major trophy with Argentina.

As well as June’s defeat to Chile, the world player of the year also tasted defeat in the 2007 and 2015 Copa América finals, as well as in the World Cup final in 2014.

He added: “Many things went through my head the day of the last final and I seriously thought of leaving, but I love this country and this shirt too much. I’m grateful to all the people who wanted me to continue playing with Argentina, hopefully we can give them something to cheer about soon.”

Argentina face Uruguay at home on 1 September and Venezuela away on 6 September.

Source: the Gaurdain

Lionel Messi Messi in Argentina Squad