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Lionel Messi will play at 2018 World Cup, insists Argentina physio

News Agencies | Updated on: 2 July 2016, 17:54 IST

Lionel Messi will represent Argentina once again at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to national team masseur Marcelo D'Andrea.

Last Sunday, the Barcelona talisman shocked the football world by announcing his international retirement after Argentina lost to Chile on penalties in the Copa America Centenario final.

"I have no doubts that Leo will play at the [2018] World Cup," D'Andrea was quoted as saying by goal.com. "I have a lot of faith in him and we must leave him alone for now. I trust him in his silence. He loves the national team and he will do everything for his country."

Following the 4-2 loss on penalties, a visibly distraught Messi said that it hurts not to be a champion despite reaching four finals, adding that "the national team is over for me."

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.

D'Andrea also revealed that Messi didn't notify his decision with the camp, admitting that the Copa America loss was the hardest blow the Argentine had received in his career.

Despite winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Barcelona, Messi's only major international honour is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games.


First published: 2 July 2016, 17:54 IST