Lionel Messi has announced his return to Argentina’s national team for their World Cup qualifiers in September, ending his short-lived retirement from international football.
Messi, 29, called it quits after missing a penalty in the shootout defeat to Chile in this summer’s Copa America Centenario final — the third consecutive loss for Argentina in a major final.
“I see that there are a lot of problems in Argentina football and I don’t want to create more,” Messi, who was included in the Albiceleste‘s 18 man squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela, said in a statement on Friday. “I don’t want to cause harm, on the contrary, my goal was to help in any way I could.”
Messi, who is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances, made reference to federation problems a few days before the Copa final, after the team suffered delayed flights and experienced problems finding opponents for training games.