Messi announced he would no longer play for Argentina after missing a penalty in the Copa America final shootout defeat by Chile last Sunday.
"In the last 10 years, no doubt he has been the best player. What happened to him happens in football. Only the one who kicks the penalty can miss the penalty," Xinhua cited Sky Sports quoting Pele as saying.
"He got very upset but maybe if he waits a little bit he'll forget about it because this has happened to a lot of good players. In the last 15 years, for me, he has been one of the best players in the world and this is more important," the three-time World Cup winner said, before adding, "I hope he listens to me."
Others to have called for Messi to return include Argentina great Diego Maradona and the South American country's president, Mauricio Macri.