Argentinian President, Fans Urge Messi to Reconsider Retirement

President Macri ended his tweet with the hashtag #Don’tLeaveLio, which became a global trending topic on Monday.

Published28 Jun 2016, 06:52 AM IST
Sports
3 min read

Some fans, players, and even Argentina’s president want Lionel Messi to reconsider his decision to retire.

Messi shocked his native country with his abrupt resignation from international soccer after Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalties after a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

He told TyC,

The national team is over for me. It’s been four finals, it’s not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.

President Mauricio Macri took to Twitter to express his grief. He tweeted saying, “more than ever I feel great pride for our team. I hope we can continue to have the joy of seeing the world’s best player for many years.”

Macri, a former president of Boca Juniors, one of Argentina’s top soccer clubs, ended his tweet with the hashtag #NoTeVayasLio (#Don’tLeaveLio), which became a global trending topic on Monday.

Large number of Messi supporters came out to express their disappointment over the Argetine’s decision to retire. (Photo: AP)
Large number of Messi supporters came out to express their disappointment over the Argetine’s decision to retire. (Photo: AP)

Messi lifted Argentina’s first penalty kick over the crossbar, setting the stage for another loss in a final. Messi and Argentina lost to Brazil in the 2007 Copa final and to Germany in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final. They lost last year’s Copa final to host Chile on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw.

Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique said:

I imagine it was a very hard blow. I know how competitive he is. He will recover from this.

Messi moved to Barcelona in 2001 when he was 13, producing lots of hardware for the Catalan club.

Fans gathered outside the downtown office of the Argentine Football Association, many torn by Messi’s promised departure. One such fan, Juan Pablo Pinasco said:

I feel an enormous sadness, it tears my heart in two. It was the cup that he (Messi) had to win, more than anything it is something that he deserves and I just don’t want him to leave the national team.
Players like Sergio Romero and Gerard Pique want Messi to reconsider his decision. (Photo: AP)
Players like Sergio Romero and Gerard Pique want Messi to reconsider his decision. (Photo: AP)

But many fans at home have criticised him for not leading the nation to a World Cup title, as Diego Maradona did in 1986. Guido Stanchi said:

That’s it, he’s got to go. The team doesn’t help him. Now there has to be a change. Let some new players come, ones that have a bit more will.

Sergio Romero, Argentina’s goalkeeper, said Messi spoke in the heat of the moment and he wants him to reconsider.

Nicolas Russo, the president of the Argentine club Lanus, said the Argentine Football Association will try to change his mind. Messi was speaking in the aftermath of the emotional defeat and could change his mind.

He has to stay. 
Nicolas Russo
Lionel Messi takes a look at the winners trophy during the presentation ceremony. (Photo: AP)
Lionel Messi takes a look at the winners trophy during the presentation ceremony. (Photo: AP)

Messi has led Barcelona to four Champions League and eight Spanish league titles, scoring 453 competitive goals in 531 games, including a La Liga-record 312. He is the national team’s career leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 international appearances. However, the Argentine told TyC,

That’s it, I’ve already tried enough. It pains me more than anyone not being able to be a champion with Argentina, but that’s the way it is. It wasn’t meant to be, and unfortunately I leave without having achieved it.

(With inputs from AP.)

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