Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero has admitted he is bemused by the decision not to let any other player wear the No10 jersey in Lionel Messi’s absence.
Messi, 31, reportedly has declined to be used by La Albiceleste throughout the remaining months of 2018 in the wake of their harrowing round-of-16 exit at the summer’s World Cup.
Much attention has been given to the call not to allow a compatriot of the Barcelona forward to don his fabled number for the impending games against Guatemala and Colombia. This stance has confused Manchester United shot stopper Romero.
“The No.10 jersey has always been used,” Romero told TyC Sports.
“I don’t understand why it’s not being used now. I haven’t asked. I haven’t inquired. I had no idea that it wasn’t going to be used.
“In all the friendlies, it has always been available. Probably, for some reason, it will not be used now. I just found out.”
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has lost four finals with his country. He previously retired for a brief period after losing to Chile in the 2016 Copa America decider.
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.
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.