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Lionel Messi: Argentina striker reverses decision to retire from national team

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Lionel Messi has announced he wants to return to Argentina’s national team, less than two months after retiring from international football.

Messi, 29, quit after Argentina’s Copa America final defeat by Chile in June.

But in a statement reported by media in Argentina, the Barcelona striker said he wanted to play to “to help from within.”

New coach Edgardo Bauza will announce his squad for September’s two World Cup qualifiers at 22:00 BST.

Messi missed in the penalty shootout defeat by Chile, as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.

“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great,” Argentina’s all-time record goalscorer is reported as saying.

“We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.”

Argentina face 2018 World Cup qualifiers at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela in the first week of September.

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