FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is believed to be considering international retirement, but former Argentina striker Carlos Tevez has begged his countryman not to hang up his national team boots just yet.
After yet another disappointing international tournament in Russia, Argentina's record goalscorer is said to be weighing up whether or not he should retire from international football.
Messi has helped guide the Albiceleste to three major finals since 2014, but unfortunately for the 31-year-old, he is yet to lift major silverware with his country.
Asked about the possibility of Messi making himself unavailable for Argentina, Tevez urged the Blaugrana forward to take all the time he needs to recover from the 2018 FIFA World Cup disappointment, and then return to the fold as his national team needs him.
"I think Leo has to think about himself," he told ESPN.
"He has to think that, if there is not a project that makes him happy and in which he feels comfortable, it is very difficult to take the responsibility of leading Argentina to become champions by himself.
"We are wasting a lot of time not having him happy and not being able to give him a hand to achieve that target. I think we are wrong in not being able to help him feel comfortable.
"As a player and as an Argentine, I tell him that we need him, that he tries to rest, that he keeps a cool head and that we need him.
"We need him because he is the soul of Argentina and, as long as he continues playing football, it has to be that way because he is Argentina's biggest idol and he has to take that responsibility.
"Now (I tell him) to rest, keep a cool head and try to be well, then we need him to take charge and on the pitch."
Messi is Argentina's record scorer with 65 goals in 126 matches, while he has also assisted a further 45 strikes for his national team.
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