Argentina football superstar Lionel Messi has insisted that he didn't attempt to 'deceive anybody' with his short-lived international retirement taken in the aftermath of the Copa America Centenario final loss.
The Barcelona talisman shocked the football world by announcing his international retirement after Argentina lost to Chile on penalties in June. This was the fourth time Messi has tasted defeat in a major tournament final.
Apart from losing three Copa America finals (2007, 2015, 2016), the Messi-led Argentina were also beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
However, Messi elected to return to the national team after newly-appointed coach Edgardo Bauza persuaded him to continue his international career.
On 1 September, he marked his return to international football by scoring the only goal in Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay to move top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualification standings.
"I am very grateful [to return to the national team]," Messi was quoted as saying by goal.com. "But I did not deceive anybody when I retired, I felt that.
"We were very disappointed with what had happened, but after that I thought better.
"I had a conversation with the Paton [Bauza] and the people as well accompanied me through it.