Argentina legend Diego Maradona has implored superstar forward Lionel Messi to reconsider severing his international ties.
The Barcelona star was inconsolable as Argentina lost to Chile on penalties for the second successive Copa America final on Monday morning [local time], while the 29-year-old also missed his own spot kick.
In the aftermath, the Argentine wizard, also on the losing side in the 2014 World Cup final, called it quits.
Maradona, however, is insistent that Messi must stay.
‘He has to stay because he still has playing days ahead of him,’ the former World Cup winner told La Nacion.
‘He will go to Russia [2018 World Cup] in form to be world champion.’
Maradona believes the responsibility for Argentina’s defeat in yet another final should not be blamed on the players, but on the Argentine Football Federation (AFA).
‘Those who are saying he should quit are doing it so that we won’t see what a disaster Argentine football has become,’ Maradona concluded.
PHOTO: Reuters/Amr Dalsh