The president of Argentina said on Tuesday he hopes to meet Lionel Messi next week and convince him to return to the national team. Pr...
The president of Argentina said on Tuesday he hopes to meet Lionel Messi next week and convince him to return to the national team.
Macri's lobbying could be helped by a gathering planned for Saturday at the obelisk in central Buenos Aires, the city's most famous landmark.
In the midst of the turmoil, the Buenos Aires city hall unveiled a statue of Messi - with a football at his foot - alongside other national sports stars.
Macri said he told Messi to 'ignore some of the nonsense because, truth be told, we are all very happy' with how the Barcelona star has played for Argentina.
Messi, who moved to Barcelona aged 13, has often faced tough criticism in Argentina because he has failed to deliver the country a major title. The lack of success with La Albiceleste is in direct contrast to his huge trophy haul with the Catalan giants at club level.
Messi is often compared unfavourably to Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, but Macri said he didn't understand the criticism of a player widely accepted as the world's best.
'The truth is that it's good fortune, a joy, a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a country like ours that is so football crazy,' said Macri, a former president of Boca Juniors.