Lionel Messi called it quits from international football after Argentina's painful loss to Chile in the Copa America final in June. The announcement was followed by high-profiled stars like Diego Maradona asking him to reconsider his decision, but the Barcelona star has kept mum on the issue. Now, Ronaldinho, who is currently playing Premier Futsal in India, has said that if Messi does not return to Argentina's national team, it is going to be a huge loss for football.
Fans and experts believe that Messi still has some good years left in him to shine at the international stage. The Barcelona star is just 29 years old, and it is around this age that footballers are said to play their best. No wonder then that sport lovers want to see Messi play for Argentina again.
However, Messi has some time to think about coming back from retirement, as Argentina will only play a competitive fixture in September (World Cup qualifiers).
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has not been able to win a major silverware for Argentina. Messi could get a chance to improve upon that in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will only be possible if he decides against retirement.
"He is still the best. It doesn't matter if he had not won any major trophies. There is some speculation that he may come out of retirement. But even if he doesn't return, it is football's loss, not his," the Times of India quoted Ronaldinho as saying.
Ronaldinho knows Messi closely, as the duo has played for Barcelona in the past. Messi was a youngster when Ronaldinho was dazzling with his tricks in Spain. The Brazilian was aware of his skills since then, and he is pleased that the star did not waste his talent.
"When I first saw him, I already knew Messi is going to be a legend. There was a lot of potential in him and I am glad that he didn't waste his talent. The one thing which pleases me is how Messi has never changed as a person. He has become better with every passing day but has still remained grounded," Ronaldinho said.