Lionel Messi unlikely for Argentina duties for rest of year - sources
Lionel Messi will not rejoin the Argentina national team this September for friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia and is unlikely to play again in what remains of 2018, sources have told ESPN's Diego Monroig.
According to a report in Clarin newspaper, Barcelona's star told Argentina interim coach Lionel Scaloni that he won't be available for the upcoming games in the United States and he didn't confirm when he will play again for the national team or whether he intends to come back for the 2019 Copa America.
Messi, 31, struggled under the weight of expectation in Russia as Argentina crashed out in the round of 16, leading to rumours he could retire from international football for a second time.
The fallout from the World Cup debacle saw Jorge Sampaoli leave his role as Argentina manager with Scaloni named for the interim.
In 2016, after Argentina's shocking Copa America loss to Chile, Messi told reporters his international playing days were over, although he changed his mind less than two months later. Messi has never won a major international title with Argentina.
Messi and Barcelona, fresh off winning the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, take on Boca Juniors on Wednesday for the Joan Gamper Trophy in a friendly at Camp Nou.
"I think we should all leave him to make his own mind and make the decision that will make him happy. The best decision both for him and his family," said Carlos Tevez, who plays for Boca Juniors and was Messi's teammate on the Argentina national team.
"Surely if he feels happy and decides to rejoin the national team [it] is because he has the support of his family and he wants to do it. If this isn't the case, then it would be useless for him to stay and do something he has no motivation for."