Argentina coach meets Messi, Mascherano hoping for international u-turn

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Barcelona, Aug 11 (IANS) The new coach of the Argentine football team Edgardo Bauza met superstars Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano at their club FC Barcelona’s training ground on Thursday, hoping to persuade the disgruntled duo to reconsider their international retirement.

Bauza was at the Camp Nou Stadium to watch Messi score twice and set up Luis Suarez for a goal in Barcelona’s 3-2 win over Sampdoria in the Joan Gamper friendly game on Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.

Although the motive for the meeting has not been publicised, it is generally accepted Bauza travelled to Spain in order to try and persuade Messi and Mascherano to overturn their decisions to retire from international football, which they announced following Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final.

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Messi’s performance on Wednesday will have shown the man, who replaced Gerardo Martino at the helm of the team after Copa America, just what he could miss as he looks to rebuild the side ahead of the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

Neither Messi, Mascherano or Bauza made any comments to the press after the meeting, which lasted for more than an hour, but fans will know if Bauza was successful in his task of persuading the players to reconsider their decisions on Friday when he names his first Argentina squad for the World Cup qualifying campaign.



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