After he sent ripples across the world yesterday with a shock decision to quit international football following defeat to Chile in the final of Copa America Centenario, Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is presently being begged by his countrymen to reconsider his decision.
Leading the clamour for his return is Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who called the Barcelona talisman and asked him to stick with the national team despite his vow to quit after another heartbreaking final defeat, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“He called him and told him how proud he feels of the national team’s performance and asked him not to listen to the criticism,” urging him not to quit, the spokesman told AFP by telephone.
According to Channel NewsAsia, the president’s appeal comes after news that Argentine legend Diego Maradona on Monday also urged Messi not to follow through on his vow to quit the national team after its defeat in the Copa America Centenario.
“Messi has to stay in the national team… He will go to Russia in form to be world champion at the 2018 World Cup, Maradona was quoted as saying by La Nacion newspaper online.
Messi, 29, has won a staggering 28 trophies at his Spanish club but is yet to lift any silverware with the Albiceleste who have gone 23 years without a major trophy.