Lionel Messi to take time over assessing Argentina future

David Cooper 23/08/2018
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Lionel Messi, like his nation, endured a difficult World Cup campaign.

Lionel Messi is reportedly still weighing up his international future with Argentina, according to Marca.

The Barcelona icon, who is set to miss La Albiceleste’s next four friendly matches, is waiting to see what lies in store for the national team moving forward following a turbulent World Cup campaign.

Jorge Sampaoli was dismissed after Argentina’s last-16 exit to France in Russia and Lionel Scaloni is currently in temporary charge of the South American giants.

In 2016, Messi retired from international football straight after his team’s Copa America final defeat to Chile but later reversed that decision to play a leading role in qualification for the World Cup.

Although it is old news that Messi will take no part in upcoming friendlies against Guatemala in Los Angeles (September 7), Colombia in New York (September 12) and then two other matches which have yet to be confirmed, it remains to be seen when he will next pull on the Sky Blue and White jersey.

It is anticipated that the 31-year-old Messi will though commit to his country sooner rather than later, especially with the Copa America taking place in Brazil next summer.

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Watch: Lionel Messi nets first goal as Barcelona captain against Boca Juniors

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Lionel Messi wasted no time in scoring his first goal as Barcelona captain as he found the back of the net in the 3-0 win over Boca Juniors to win the Joan Gamper Trophy on Wednesday.

The goal came in the first half when two Boca Juniors defenders collided on the edge of the box, leaving Messi free to collect the ball and chip over the goalkeeper.

Check out the goal for yourself in the video below.

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Lionel Messi set to miss Argentina's next four friendly matches

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Argentina captain Lionel Messi is likely to miss the next four friendly matches for his country, according to local reports.

La Albiceleste endured a torrid World Cup campaign and exited at the second-round hurdle to France, resulting in Jorge Sampaoli’s sacking.

It led to speculation that Messi, who scored just once against Nigeria in a below-par tournament, could quit the international side given the five-time Ballon d’Or winner previously retired after Argentina’s 2016 Copa America final defeat to Chile.

Next month, Argentina have two friendly matches against Guatemala in Los Angeles on September 7 and then face Colombia in New York.

Messi is set to miss both of those as well as two other friendly clashes, which have yet to be confirmed, before the end of the year.

“Messi will not return this year and there are doubts about his future,” Argentinian daily Clarin reported.

Argentine news website Infobae added: “He will take a rest period, but that doesn’t mean he’s quitting.”

Argentina’s next big assignment is the Copa America in Brazil next summer, in what is another opportunity for Messi to finally win a major honour with his country.

Lionel Scaloni is currently in temporary charge of the South American giants.

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