A former Argentina star has admitted that he would not be surprised if Lionel Messi retires from international football again at the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Messi, who has failed to fire on all cylinders in Russia so far, looked a deflated figure as his team were hammered 3-0 by Croatia in their second Group D match, and his former national teammate Pablo Zabaleta thinks he could soon walk away from the national team for good.
"I just feel so sorry for Lionel Messi," he told the BBC.
"This was his last chance to win something with Argentina, so I would not be surprised to see him retire from international football after this.
"He will be so disappointed, and it is another four years until Qatar."
Zabaleta also touched on how the supporters back in Argentina must be thinking of the team's performance at the World Cup.
"The people in Argentina will be so angry now," he added.
"You expect more from those players. They are so hungry for this World Cup, and they will not accept this.
"I have never seen a performance like this by Argentina. Never before. There was a lack of spirit, and it is bizarre to see."
Messi has made 124 appearances for his country so far, scoring 64 goals and assisting a further 43 strikes.
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