Former Argentina coach Diego Maradona has acknowledged that he wants to see Lionel Messi back action for his county side.
The Barcelona star had announced his retirement from international football after his side lost 2016 Copa America final to Chile for a second consecutive year on penalties at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
‘Those saying he should quit don’t want us to see what a disaster Argentinean football has become, Messi must go on,’ Maradona told La Nacion newspaper.
‘The lads have to be supported more to help him take the team forward.
‘Messi has to stay because he will reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia in conditions to become world champion.’
Maradona captained Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup and he was the team’s head coach at the 2010 World Cup.
Messi said on June 27 after him and his Argentine teammates lost their fourth final in nine years;
‘It’s not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion, it’s been four finals, I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.’
‘I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, and then for everyone. I think there’s a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.
‘It’s very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.’
We hope to see the five-time FIFA Ballon d’Or champ back in action for his country soon.