Lionel Messi will not play upcoming friendlies for Argentina and will be on a break from international duty, according to TNT Sports LA. The Barcelona star will not quit permanently, but no one knows when he’d be back.
Messi had previously quit the Argentina team in 2016, but he came back in time to carry them into the 2018 FIFA World Cup,
The report says he spoke with Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s caretaker manager, and told him he would not play in the upcoming friendlies. There is a Copa América in Brazil next year, but apparently, the pair did not speak about it. It’s unclear if he’d return in time, but that could prove one of his last tournaments for the national team, so the Argentine FA hopes he will come back.
Apparently, Messi was set on quitting Argentina for good, but his relationship with the FA president, Claudio Tapia, convinced him to be on “stand-by.”
Messi’s decision may hinge upon who Argentina hire as coach and what kind of team he is able to start to lead next year.