Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez believes it would be understandable if Lionel Messi decides against turning up for Argentina again. The Barcelona superstar was heavily criticised after the South American nation flopped at the recent World Cup and they has since been speculation suggesting that he may retire from national team duty.

Speaking to Tyc Sports, Tevez admitted that there could be the possibility of Messi retiring from Argentina duty altogether amidst the constant criticism surrounding him since the World Cup, he said: “It would be understandable if Messi doesn’t return to the national team. When you give and then you are criticised, it becomes very difficult. I’ve been through that and at times you don’t want to go [to the national team].”
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Carlos Tevez has highlighted that Lionel Messi remains a key player for Argentina going forward and has urged his compatriot to continue playing for the national team despite their early exit from the World Cup. The Argentines struggled to keep a clean sheet during the recent World Cup finals in Russia and they were eventually ousted by France during the round of 16 of the tournament.

 

Since then, there have been plenty of suggestions that Messi could call time on his international career permanently after prematurely doing the same in 2016 but Tevez has urged his countrymate to continue to take charge on the pitch, he told ESPN: “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.  I think we are wrong in not being able to help him feel comfortable. We need him because he is the soul of Argentina and, as long as he continues playing football, it has to be that way. 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.”
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Former Chelsea star Hernan Crespo believes Argentina should try and secure their progress to the last 16 of the World Cup prior to their final group stage game against Nigeria. Speaking to Championat.com, the Argentine admitted that his nation won’t have an easy game against the Super Eagles in Group D and he is hopeful of seeing them qualifying prior to the encounter.

He said: “In 1999, I played in Moscow in the final of the UEFA Cup. And in St. Petersburg for the first time. Today the weather is fine, and I really like that there are so many enthusiasts here who have such a passion for football. And I’m very glad to be here, to share joy with everyone. The match against Nigeria in Petersburg will be difficult, but we in Argentina hope that by this time we will qualify for the second round ahead of schedule. I would like to see Messi win the World Cup as part of the national team.”
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