‘Messi will play at next World Cup’

Marcelo D’Andrea, masseuse of the Argentina squad, claims Lionel Messi will play at the 2018 World Cup as the Barcelona forward must be “left alone”.

Messi announced his retirement from international in the wake of Argentina’s penalty-shootout defeat to Chile in the Copa America final – his third such disappointment and fourth overall – but D’Andrea believes the No 10 will go back on his word in due course.

“I have no doubt that Leo will play at the World Cup, I have a lot of faith [in him doing so] and we have to leave him alone,” he told Pop FM, Clarin reports.

“I trust his silence. He loves the national team and gives everything for his country.

“Nobody knew anything about Messi’s retirement [before the game]. He said nothing in the dressing room.

“It was Messi’s hardest blow with the national team, that I have no doubt.”

Tags Argentina Lionel Messi