Lionel Messi Reverses Decision To Leave Argentina’s National Team, Sets Sights On World Cup

Messi field rush

Getty Images

Lionel Messi all but caused a national tragedy in his home nation of Argentina after he announced he would be leaving the national team in the wake of their defeat to Chile in the Copa America final.

But now, La Pulga has reneged on his original words – likely fueled by utter frustration and disappointment – and announced that he has no intentions of leaving his Argentinian squad high and dry.

Sports Illustrated reports:

Lionel Messi has changed his mind about international retirement, La Nacion reports.

Messi told reporters after Argentina’s loss to Chile in the Copa America that the national team is not for him and that he was done playing for the Albiceleste, seemingly calling a close to his international career. The new report indicates that he now plans to rejoin the Albiceleste in November for World Cup qualifiers, suggesting he will miss their matches in September.

Messi missed his penalty kick in the shootout loss to Chile, and Argentina fell to a defeat in a final for a third straight summer after the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America. It was the fourth final loss of Messi’s Argentina career. Chile prevailed 4-2 in the shootout after a 0-0 draw.

No doubt Messi plans to return with a vengeance in Russia (should the tournament actually be held there) come 2018. Great to see the greatest stick it out for his club & country. Maybe he just didn’t want to be rostered for the Rio Olympics, as his statement indicates he’ll rejoin the national side come November.

[h/t Business Insider]