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Diego Maradona urges Lionel Messi to reconsider international retirement

Argentina legend Diego Maradona urges five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi to reverse his decision to retire from international football.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has urged Lionel Messi to reconsider his retirement from international football.

Messi announced his retirement in the wake of Argentina's penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the final of the Copa America - his third major international final loss in as many years.

The 29-year-old missed a penalty in the shootout defeat, but Maradona believes that his country will have a chance of success at the 2018 World Cup if Messi carries on.

"Those saying he should quit don't want us to see what a disaster Argentinean football has become. Messi must go on," the 1986 World Cup winner told La Nacion.

"Messi has to stay because he will reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia in conditions to become world champion. The lads have to be supported more to help him take the team forward."

Messi has made 112 appearances for Argentina since his debut in 2005 but has lost three Copa America finals and the World Cup final, with his only international honour coming at the 2008 Olympic Games.


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Lionel Messi of Argentina (R) looks dejected after a goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014
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