Retirement an option – Messi

International Football

Lionel Messi says he could hang up his international boots for the second time if Argentina endure a poor 2018 World Cup campaign.

Barcelona forward Messi, who is captain for both club and country, decided to retire from international football last year after the 2016 Copa America final loss to Chile.

However, the 30-year-old made a U-turn on that decision just two months later and he played a pivotal role in helping La Albiceleste automatically qualify for the major event in Russia next year.

Jorge Sampaoli’s men are seen as one of the favourites for the tournament but the skipper, who is his country’s leading goalscorer, has hinted he may hang up his international boots for good if things don’t go to plan.

Messi told TyC Sports: “If we do badly at the World Cup, we all have to disappear from the national team. It’ll be difficult for some to stay on.”