La Nacion claims to know that Lionel Messi will return to Argentina national team
The star attacker could return to the field for his nation later this year
Lionel Messi is considering a return to the Argentina national team, if you are to believe a friend of his. La Nacion in Argentina, citing an unnamed ex-teammate of Messi, says the star attacker will return for Argentina in its World Cup qualifying matches this November.
Messi, 29, said he was done with the national team after the loss to Chile a week ago in the Copa America final, marking his fourth final loss with his country and third year in a row.
Here's everything you need to know from what is being reported in Argentina.
Is a return likely in November?
La Nacion claims that, based on what it has been told, Messi's retirement isn't a good bye, only a pause, saying he will return for World Cup Qualifying in November. Argentina plays Uruguay and Venezuela in September, with the report thinking he skips those and two matches in October, returning to the team possible for the November 10 game at Brazil or November 15 at home to Colombia.
Who is this 'friend' of his?
The report says the ex teammate, who played with Messi in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, told the publication the following:
"He's going to return, and he has Russia 2018 as an obsession."
The only two players who played all three of those World Cups with Messi are Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez.
Did his girlfriend give any hints?
The paper quoted Messi's girlfriend and the mother of his children, Antonella Roccuzzo, as saying the following to a fan who told her he should continue and not listen to the few who criticize him.
"Yes, they are few, but they weigh heavy [on him]."
Long criticized for not replicating his Barca form with Argentina, Messi has made more of an impact in recent years and became the team's all-time leading goal scorer this summer. But a fourth cup final loss weighed heavy on him as the tears ran down his face at MetLife Stadium. It appeared as if the pressure was just too much.
Since the retirement, it's been up for debate as to whether his announcement was more of a heat in the moment decision or a long, thought about one. We've seen his Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez say he thinks he'll return. But whether he does remains to be seen.
Those in Argentina have been doing what they can to convince him. But only he knows if those efforts will be enough in the end.
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