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Lionel Messi reveals the real reason behind announcing retirement

India Today logo India Today 03-09-2016
© Getty Image

Argentina captain Lionel Messi explained why he had said he was retiring from international football after his team's loss to Chile in the Copa America final in June. Messi had missed his team's first penalty in the decisive shootout.

He, however, last month overturned his decision to quit international football and also led his team to victory in his first appearance since comeback.

"I didn't deceive anyone in that moment," Messi said. "I was very disappointed because it was a hard blow and I said that because that's what I felt.

"But afterwards, seeing what this group (of players) is like, and with the affection of the fans, I reconsidered."

It was Messi's third defeat in a major final with Argentina in two years including the 2014 World Cup final against Germany in Brazil, and fourth altogether.

Messi is now back gunning for a fourth World Cup appearance in Russia in 2018 with Argentina heading the 10-nation group with 14 points from seven matches.

The top four qualify for the tournament in Russia while the fifth-placed team will go into an inter-continental playoff for another place in the finals.


© Getty Image

However, his triumphant comeback has been tempered by a hint he may not be fit to play in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Venezuela.

Messi scored the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Uruguay on Thursday that sent Argentina to the top of the South American group.

However, the Argentina captain said he had a groin pain and had to think about his fitness at the start of a busy season for his national side and his club Barcelona.

"My groin is hurting a lot, from before this match. We'll see, I always want to be (in the team)… but there are also a lot of important matches coming up," Messi told reporters.

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