Buenos Aires, June 28: Diego Maradona has finally broken his silence over Argentina's disappointing Copa America campaign and Lionel Messi's decision to quit from international football. Yesterday (June 27) Argentina went down to Chile in the finals of Copa America 2016.
After a 0-0 draw for 120 minutes, Chile sealed the deal in the penalty shootout winning by 4-2. For Argentina Lucas Biglia and Lionel Messi missed penalties thereby throwing away their chances of winning the title. (5 best moments of Messi)
After the final, Argentine captain and star footballer Lionel Messi was devastated as he broke down in tears. Thereafter in an interview he informed the media about his decision to retire from international football. The football world was in utter disbelief and shock as the best player in the world took such a firm decision at an age of just 29. (5 players who have retired early)
While several people commented on Messi's decision, all eyes were on Diego Maradona who until today (June 28) did not utter a word. But finally the Argentine legend spoke on the matter.
Speaking to Argentine daily newspaper La Nacion, Diego said: "Messi has to stay in the national team. He will go to Russia in form to be world champion.
"He has to rely more on boys who can help take the team forward and less on those who say they have to go.
"Those who are saying he should quit are doing it so that we won't see what a disaster Argentine football has become."
Maradona not only urged Messi to reconsider his decision, also he bashed the Argentina Football Association (AFA) for poor management and blamed them for the country's downfall in the recent years.
He added: "I am very sorry and very angry with what is happening to Argentine football. We hit bottom, we reached the bottom."
Interestingly though, the same Diego Maradona had criticised Lionel Messi few weeks ago. He had said Messi lacked personality and does not have enough leadership qualities to take the team forward in any tournament.
Let us now hope that the magical Lionel Messi listens to Maradona and come back to international football soon. Argentina will never be the same without their captain Lionel Messi.