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Will Messi retire from La Albiceleste?

AFA president comes clean about Messi's future with La Albiceleste

July 24, 2018 By Oscar Rojas
Claudio Tapia admitted being disappointed by the team's performance under Jorge Sampaoli, right after speaking about the superstar's future with the South American side

One of the main talking points after the end of the FIFA World Cup involved Lionel Messi: will he retire from La Albiceleste, or will he have another go with the South American team?

In an interview with, the Argentine Football Association's (AFA) president Claudio Tapia shared his views on the matter, hinting that even if he's considered a second retirement from the national team, Messi will most likely be back with La Albiceleste.

"We texted each other to celebrate 'Friends' Day'. He's on vacation, enjoying time with his family. We didn't speak anything about the World Cup. I think he wants to keep on playing for the team. We have to leave him be, start the project and see how things work out," Tapia stated.

"He loves the National Team. This was a serious blow for him, but he knows Argentina needs him. I saw him take responsability for what happened, but we placed that burden on his shoulders. We believe that he's a super hero, but he's a human being. We overwhelmed him with a weight that wasn't his to carry," AFA's main man revealed.

Tapia also aimed a dig at Jorge Sampaoli, who wasn't able to end Argentina's 25-year title drought.

"We never saw the playing style that made Sampaoli famous with Chile or with Sevilla. He was the man everyone wanted for La Albiceleste, but we made a mistake. I think he needed more time, but unfortunately these results were not enough to see him live to the end of his five-year deal with the team," Tapia added.

With former Colombia boss Jose Pékerman and Marcelo Gallardo being tipped as Sampaoli's replacement, AFA's president revealed that the new coach will not be named immediately. Furthermore, it will be up to the coach to determine how many of the 23 players that traveled to Russia will continue playing for La Albiceleste.

"When something like this happens, changes have to be made. The team needs a makeover, but it will be up to the new staff to decide which players are still useful. Maybe because of their age or their goals, but there are some players that have to end their run with the team. Either way, we'll determine that once we have talked with every coach that's willing to take the job," Tapia concluded.

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