Argentina star forward Sergio Aguero has revealed his compatriot and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has dismissed the rumours that he is contemplating retirement from international football.
Messi's performance in national colours has been the subject of criticism from several quarters for many years, and the recent results of Argentina in the major events has fuelled rumours of his retirement.
La Albiceleste went to the final of the FIFA World Cup last year as well as the final of the Copa America 2015, but lost out on both occasions. Although Messi won the honour of the Best Player of the the World Cup 2014, fans and football loyalists have questioned the impact of the Argentine master dribbler in the national colours.
And this criticism, according to some, have taken a toll on the 28-year-old's mind. However, Aguero, who has been a close friend of Messi for many years, stated that there was no truth in the news.
"When all these rumours about Messi potentially retiring from the national team emerged, I asked him straight up whether he was no longer coming over. He told me that people were making things up again," Aguero was quoted as saying by TyC Sports.
"Messi is calm and relaxed. He will continue to show up for the national team and play for Argentina. He always does his utmost for the team.
"Leo is always in the spotlights and people forget all the good things he has done. I'm not talking about just now, but they have been saying things about him that are not true for a while."
The Barcelona hotshot has 48 goals from 102 appearances for Argentina in his career so far, and was on the scoresheet on two occasions as Gerardo Martino's side hammered Bolivia 7-0 in an international friendly in Houston last week.
Messi's performances for both club and country have received plenty of plaudits, including tennis star Victoria Azarenka.
Heaping praise on Messi, the Belarusian, seeded 20th in the US Open this year, told reporters: "Seeing Messi play is like watching a video game. It's really something exciting. What Messi does on a football field is simply unthinkable. I had the pleasure of seeing him at the stadium once in Barcelona and, for me, he is amazing.
"The way he walks from side to side, and once he sees an opportunity, he simply creates magic. Footballers play with their feet. I wouldn't say that I am as good with my hands as he is with his feet, but I'm trying," she joked.
Messi will be in action again as Argentina take on Mexico in Texas in an international friendly tonight.