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New Argentina boss Bauza: Messi’s retirement can be reversed

Edgardo Bauza has identified what’s at the top of his agenda upon taking the Argentina helm: tempting Lionel Messi from retirement.

The diminutive Barcelona star said he was considering his international future after July’s Copa America Centenario final defeat to Chile in July. It marked the third straight showpiece loss for Messi’s Argentina after disappointments in the finals of the 2014 World Cup and Copa America of 2015.

Related: Messi ‘done playing with national team’ after another crushing loss

The failure to take honours in the United States this summer culminated in Gerardo Martino stepping down from his role in charge of La Albiceleste, and the subsequent appointment of two-time Copa Libertadores winner Bauza.

“My sole intention is to see if I can talk football with Messi,” said the 58-year-old gaffer.

“From that will come the possibility of him being called up in our next games.”

Argentina’s next commitments come in qualification for the 2018 World Cup. The country has made an underwhelming start to its campaign and sits in third, below Uruguay and Ecuador, and faces the former on Sept. 1.

When asked further about Messi, Bauza replied: “I want to tell him my idea and for him to tell me how things are with him and then we’ll see what comes out of it.

“I have felt frustrated for losing a match or a final and understand that statement (of quitting) when you are overwhelmed with frustration, but I know it can be reversed.”

Messi’s disenchantment with national team duty was evident before the final loss in New Jersey. He branded the Argentine Football Association a “disaster” when the squad was left grounded in a plane in Houston ahead of the bout with Chile.

Messi played 75 minutes of Barcelona’s harrowing 4-0 friendly defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, and is in contention to compete in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Sampdoria on Wednesday.

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