Messi’s Argentina return depends on coach, says AFA head

Head of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) Claudio Tapia says Barcelona forward Lionel Messi never left the national team and will be ready when coach Lionel Scaloni calls upon him

Messi has not featured for his national team since his team crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a  4-3 defeat to France on June 30

“Leo Messi never left the national team,” AFA president Claudio Tapia said in an interview published on the association’s website via Xinhua.

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“I think the love he has for the shirt is so great that when he is called upon he’ll be there, I have no doubt about that. It will depend on the coach and not on him.”

Tapia said Messi had been in a positive mood when the pair met in Madrid earlier this month after the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors.

“He looked happy, very happy,” he said. “I hope that he will be a part of Argentina’s upcoming squads because it makes people happy watching him play. He represents our country and is a standard-bearer for world football. He is the best player in the world, without doubt”

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