KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 30: Lionel Messi of Argentina during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between France and Argentina at Kazan Arena on June 30, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Argentina National Team manager, Lionel Scaloni, wanted to clear the doubts about the decision to leave Lionel Messi’s number ’10’ shirt alone.

Recently in Argentina, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the number ’10’ shirt from the national team as the decision to leave the number alone was made recently until Lionel Messi returned. The local press went nuts over this decision, they feel like the Barcelona star doesn’t deserve such honor and they don’t want this to become a constant thing for Argentina. But there is a large number of journalists and fans who do understand why this decision was made, they want Lionel Messi back to the national team as soon as he has taken a proper break because they know he is still one of the best players in the world who still has a lot to give to Argentina. As a way to clear the doubts there were about this decision, interim manager Lionel Scaloni decided to come out and publicly explain how this decision was made before the international break and how all the players agreed on it.

“The answer to this is very easy, the players who went to the last World Cup and came to these matches kept their number. Argentina’s number ’10’ shirt is Messi’s until he says whether he will stay in the national team or not, it’s as simple as that. The first sensation is that we still haven’t gotten a negative response in regards to that. I was the one who made that decision about the numbers, nobody suggested it but me. We will have to wait but in the meantime, the number ’10’ shirt is only Messi’s and I was the one who decided it. When the best player in the world is not on the field, the team loses, there is no doubt about that. The idea is to form the best possible squad that can make Messi feel comfortable when he is in it. But meanwhile, we will prepare a squad that understands what it means to play with this shirt and then we will see what happens with Lionel,” said Scaloni during a press conference this Monday.

Contacts with new managers.

As the situation stands right now, there are still a few managers who are being contacted by AFA for the job as the National Team boss. The options are few but they are important, the most likely scenario right now could be that they won’t make a decision until 2019 and they are not still sure about the top candidate. One of the latest names who has been mentioned in the Argentina press is Gerardo Martino, a manager who already took the squad a few years ago and wasn’t able to take them to a title success back in 2015 and 2016 when Argentina reached two consecutive Copa America finals and lost both of them against the Chile national team. Martino is arguably one of the best options for the job due to his experience in major tournaments, but it’s still unclear if he would entertain the idea of taking the position again after the way he was sacked last time. Certainly, Lionel Messi would like this manager to take the job, because both have a very good relationship that dates back to their time in Barcelona.

Messi right now is only focused on the Catalan club, where he is practicing every day for next weekend when his squad travels to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad in Anoeta Stadium. This visit has proved to be one of the most difficult matches for the Catalan club in recent years, which is why getting a victory is so important for Messi and his teammates. Just a few days after that game, Barcelona will begin its new Champions League journey as tournament favorites when they face Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven at the Camp Nou. It will be a busy week for FC Barcelona after the international break, but they will fortunately have many of their most important players well-rested like Lionel Messi because they didn’t travel with their national teams. As far as the number ’10’ controversy goes, the press from Argentina will keep complaining because they still don’t feel like Lionel is worthy of playing for his national team and they will forever feel offended when he gets compared with Diego Maradona.

What do you think about the decision Scaloni made to retire Argentina’s number ’10’ shirt for the moment? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.