Former Barcelona star Bernd Schuster, who also coached Real Madrid, has urged Lionel Messi not to play for Argentina again. The reason he said so is that people should remember Messi winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as his last act for La Albiceleste.
Messi led Argentina to the elusive World Cup trophy in Qatar, ending a 36-year drought. He scored seven goals during the tournament, including a brace in the final. The superstar attacker also bagged three assists and won the Golden Ball award for the second time.
Schuster said that Messi, the greatest player in Barcelona’s history, should retire from international football. The German, though, acknowledged that it would be difficult for the little magician to leave the international stage just yet. He said (via MARCA):
“Messi can still play for a few years, but he should retire from the Argentine national team. He has to keep that final image with the World Cup with that shirt. I see it as difficult for him to be in the next World Cup, I don’t know.”
2022: A year Messi will never forget 🏆#TheBest | #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/xP5muudyIR
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 16, 2023
Schuster explained how Lionel Messi and co. winning the tournament in Qatar gave him enormous joy:
“It gave me enormous joy. I lived Diego’s World Cup in 1986. It was the same suffering. There are no more emotions than those. I was one more fan of Argentina.
The former player was happy for Messi’s triumph, as the Argentine shows more happiness than arrogance. He added:
“After what Messi did in Europe for 15 years, I wanted him to go up to the temple of football, and the only way he could achieve that was by winning the World Cup. The temple of football is where the Beckenbauers are, Zidane, Ronaldo, Maradona Pele, and there is no more.”
Messi has scored 98 times in 172 games for Argentina, winning the Copa America (2021), Finalissima (2022) and the World Cup.
Will Lionel Messi return to Barcelona?
After Lionel Messi won the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy with Argentina, fans had one more plea for the Argentine. They wanted to see the legendary No. 10 return to his former club Barcelona.
21 years ago today, Lionel Messi officially signed for Barcelona ✍️ pic.twitter.com/SCLhcCg4JJ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 15, 2023
Messi’s exit from the Blaugrana in the summer of 2021 was unceremonious, as the club could not renew his contract due to La Liga wage cap rules. The Argentine is currently in the final months of his contract with PSG. While he’s yet to agree a new deal witht he Parisians, a return to the Camp Nou remains unlikely.