Jorge Valdano believes Barcelona’s Lionel Messi will reverse his international retirement but the ‘weight on his back’ became ‘unbearable.’
Messi quit the national team after defeat on penalties to Chile in the Copa America Final, having missed his spot kick, but new Coach Edgardo Bauza is ‘confident’ the forward will return, and Valdano agrees.
“My feeling was that he left the locker room with an unbearable weight on his back and unloaded on the first microphone he found. And with a relaxed, lucid, simple speech, as he does things…when he finished speaking, he felt the relief of releasing that burden,” Valdano told Argentina’s La Nacion, Mundo Deportivo reports.
“I think 29 is an age of plenty. And that has been shown, he has managed to be the best player in the world as a forward, a false nine, and now a playmaker. Football is in his head all the time.
“It would be a good idea to convince him to return as soon as possible, but time should help healing his frustrations. The absence of a player with this mythological force contributes to the feeling of helplessness of the players when they go out to play.
“When I saw Diego Maradona and Daniel Passarella, I thought ‘nothing can go wrong now.’ That’s the influence of leaders on the group and Messi is very important, even for opponents.”