Football fans mourning Lionel Messi’s exit from International football now have something to cheer about as Messi back in the game!
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will return to play for the Argentine national football team for “love” of his country.
Messi had rescinded his earlier decision to quit, after previously vowing to retire in frustration.
It was heartening news for the country’s demanding soccer fans after Argentina were knocked out of the Olympic Games this week in the group stage.
The 29-year-old Argentine superstar abruptly had announced his international retirement in tears after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile on June 26.
Messi said in June that he would not play for Argentina again after the team lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America.
Messi Back In The Game
But he said in a statement on Friday that he wished to continue playing for his country as he preferred “to help from within”.
Messi in a statement released by his management company said:
“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final.
“And I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great.”
His earlier vow to quit had dismayed fans, many of whom held street rallies and posted online messages begging him not to go.
It became practically an affair of state when Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri called on him to stay.
President Mauricio said:
“It is a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a footballing country like ours.
“Lionel Messi is the greatest thing we have in Argentina and we must take care of him.”
Argentina’s new coach was due later on Friday to announce his squad for looming World Cup qualifiers.
Coach Edgardo Bauza met with Messi in Barcelona this week to convince him to rejoin the squad.
Perhaps Messi’s decision to return to the team showed their efforts at persuading him succeeded.