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Argentina striker Tevez urges Lionel Messi not to retire after poor run at World Cup

Champions France ousted the Messi led Argentines in the Round of 16, blemishing chances for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to continue the legacy which was left behind by legend Diego Maradona. 

Written by: Brett Ellis, New Delhi [ Published on: July 19, 2018 12:41 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Lionel Messi scored 1 goal in the four matches he played at the 2018 World Cup 

Argentine striker Lionel Messi's dreams of getting his hands on the all-glorious trophy grew dim after the La Abliceleste were knocked out from the recently concluded Russia World Cup. 

Champions France ousted the Messi led Argentines in the Round of 16, blemishing chances for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to continue the legacy which was left behind by legend Diego Maradona. 

Speculations arose whether Messi would announce his retirement from international football once again as the next time the FC Barcelona legend would play in a World Cup, he would be 35. 

Former Juventus striker Carlos Tevez backed Messi and said that he needs to feel comfortable around his players. 

"I think Leo has to think about himself. He has to think that, if there is not a project that makes him happy and in which he feels comfortable, it is very difficult to take the responsibility of leading Argentina to become champions by himself," Tevez told ESPN.

"We are wasting a lot of time not having him happy and not being able to give him a hand to achieve that target. I think we are wrong in not being able to help him feel comfortable.

In the summer of 2016, Messi announced his retirement from International football after Argentina lost the Copa America to Chile. However, he reversed his decision later on. 

Tevez, who played for top European clubs such as Manchester United, City and Juventus, stated that Argentina need Messi at the moment. 

"As a player and as an Argentine I tell him that we need him, that he tries to rest, that he keeps a cool head and that we need him. We need him because he is the soul of Argentina and, as long as he continues playing football, it has to be that way because he is Argentina's biggest idol and he has to take that responsibility.

"Now [I tell him] to rest, keep a cool head and try to be well, then we need him to take charge and on the pitch."

The La Albiceleste were knocked out by France, who went on to win their second World Cup. Midfielder and Argentina's most capped player, Javier Mascherano, announced his retirement from international football. 

In the meantime, the Argentina Football Federation (AFA) parted ways with coach Jorge Sampaoli after a poor run in the grandest stage of the sport. 

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