Lionel Messi recently retired from international football, after a heartbreaking loss in the Copa America final.
Aged 18, Messi made his senior debut for Argentina when he came on in the 63rd minute, only to be sent off after two minutes for a perceived foul against Vilmos Vanczak. But since the horrific debut, the forward has went on to score 55 goals in 113 games for his country, with many people calling him the greatest player ever to have played for Argentina.
The Barcelona star has lost 4 finals in his international career – 3 Copa America finals and a World Cup final.
The first loss came in 2007 when Argentina lost in the Copa America final to Venezuela. The Argentine team lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany, after coming incredibly close to winning. Germany won the match 1-0 with substitute Mario Gotze scoring the winning goal in extra time.
This was followed by losses in the 2015 and recently concluded 2016 Copa America finals, with Argentina losing to Chile on both occasions. The 2016 Copa America final loss seemed to be the final straw for Messi, who announced his retirement after the game.
He said: “I tried my hardest. It has been four finals, I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team, but unfortunately, it did not happen… I think this is best for everyone, firstly for me and for a lot of people that wish this. The team has ended for me, a decision made.”
This decision shocked the entire world, and led to his countrymen pleading him to reconsider his retirement. The appointment of new Argentina manager Bauza may change things.
“We have had no contact with Messi, or any of his family,” Bauza told Fox Sports on Tuesday.
“The idea is that once I have met with the [interim Argentine Football Association president] Armando Perez, I will make a trip to have a chat [with Messi].
“It is not about convincing him of anything, just to chat about football.
“Those of us who were players know how frustrating it is to lose a final. I will let him know my way of working – not just him, but other senior players too.
“There is not much time. If Messi knows anything clearly, it is what he must do on the pitch, and what decisions he should take.
“Between the two of us we could see how he could help the national team, and if he can continue with all this commitment that I have seen from outside.”