MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 04:30:23

Lionel Messi considering international retirement after World Cup

Messi considering international retirement
© Reuters
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi will consider quitting international duty with Argentina after this summer's World Cup.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has hinted that he will retire from international duty for good if Argentina fail to win this summer's World Cup.

The 30-year-old, capped 125 times since making his debut in 2005, took a break from representing the Albiceleste two years ago before making a swift U-turn.

Messi had grown frustrated at his treatment from the local media, having been criticised for repeated near misses at major tournaments - including four years ago when losing to Germany in the World Cup final.

Ahead of this summer's tournament, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner admits that walking away for good is something that he is considering.

"It will depend how we do, how it ends," he told Sport. "The fact we've lost three finals now has led to some complicated moments with the Argentine press due to the differences in seeing what it means to reach a final.

"It is not easy and [reaching three finals] has to be appreciated. It's true that winning them is important, but getting there is not easy."

Two-time tournament winners Argentina face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in the group stage.

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi in action during the La Liga clash with Real Madrid on May 6, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sevilla85121881016
2Barcelona84311991015
3Atletico MadridAtletico843194515
4AlavesAlaves8422118314
5Real Madrid8422127514
6Espanyol8422117414
7Real Valladolid833276112
8Real Betis833256-112
9Real Sociedad83231211111
10Celta Vigo82421312110
11Levante83141214-210
12EibarEibar8314912-310
13Getafe823367-19
14Valencia816167-19
15GironaGirona82331013-39
16Villarreal822467-18
17Athletic Bilbao7142913-47
18Leganes8215712-57
19Rayo Vallecano7124715-85
20Huesca8125718-115

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