Lionel Messi in Argentina U-turn as forward comes out of retirement six weeks after calling time on international career

Lionel Messi retired from international football after Argentina's Copa America final defeat                           

  • Lionel Messi retired from international game after Copa America loss
  • Barcelona star has suffered defeat in four major finals with his country
  • New boss Edgardo Bauza can call on Messi for World Cup campaign
  • Argentina currently third in 10-team South American qualification group  



Lionel Messi has reversed his decision to retire from international football, saying he loves Argentina 'too much'.
The Barcelona playmaker announced immediately after his country's penalty shootout loss to Chile in the Copa America final in June that he was calling time on his Argentina career.
However, having this week met with new national team coach Edgardo Bauza, the 29-year-old has confirmed he will be available for selection again.
Messi, Argentina's captain and all-time record goalscorer with 55 goals, said in a statement, reproduced by Argentinian newspaper La Nacion: 'I see there are many problems in Argentinian football and I don't intend to create another one.
'I don't want to cause any damage, I've always tried to do just the opposite, to help all that I can.
Messi was crestfallen following his miss in the decisive final penalty shootout against Chile 
'We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.'
Messi said he was quitting international football after missing a penalty in the Copa America final shootout at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, USA.
That would have left Messi - one of the most decorated players in history at club level with Barca - having never won a major trophy with Argentina.
As well as this year's loss to Chile, the reigning FIFA Ballon d'Or also tasted defeat in the 2007 and 2015 Copa America finals, and in the 2014 World Cup final.
He added: 'Many things went through my head the day of the last final and I seriously thought of leaving, but I love this country and this shirt too much.
'I'm grateful to all the people who wanted me to continue playing with Argentina, hopefully we can give them something to cheer about soon.'
The newly coiffured Messi had seemed set to focus entirely on playing for Barcelona 
MESSI FOR ARGENTINAAppearances: 113  Goals: 55
Debut: August 17 2005, vs Hungary in Budapest (Argentina won 2-1)
First goal: March 1 2006, vs Croatia in Basel, Switzerland (Argentina lost 3-2) 
Major final defeats: 
Copa America 2007, vs Brazil 0-3
World Cup 2014, vs Germany 0-1
Copa America 2015 vs Chile 0-0 (lost 4-1 on pens)
Copa America 2016 vs Chile 0-0 (lost 4-2 on pens)