Argentina president remains confident of Lionel Messi return

Argentina president Claudio Tapia has indicated that he is confident of Lionel Messi returning to national team duty despite excluding himself from recent call-ups. The Barcelona superstar was heavily criticised after the country’s poor showing at the summer World Cup and since then, he has decided to make himself unavailable indefinitelyfor national team duty.

As a result, there have been plenty of question marks where Messi would consider a return to international football but Tapia has stressed that the country need to be patient regarding the forward’s position, he said: "I have no doubts that he will return to play [with the national team]. We have to let him be and give him the time he needs. We have to continue the way we are. "I'm completely calm, knowing that he, more than anyone, loves the national team jersey. I don't put a time to his return. We have to let things flow and it will happen when it has to happen. We cannot be hasty."

Meanwhile, Tapia further added that the country had placed too much pressure on the shoulders of captain Messi at the summer World Cup where they were ousted at the round of 16 stage to eventual champions France, he added: "We made him responsible to be world champion, but football is a team sport and is difficult. He took charge in situations where players shouldn't. We just have to continue as we are."

“Argentina’s caretaker manager Lionel Scaloni took the decision to blood youngsters into the squad“ during the recent friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia and the same could end up being the case for “the next international break“with Tottenham Hotspur’s Juan Foyth among those under consideration for a maiden call-up.

Argentina, who are presently placed 11th in the FIFA rankings, are scheduled to face Iraq on 11th October before tackling fierce rivals Brazil five days later. Both friendly games are expected to be played in Saudi Arabia.