Argentina coach in Spain to convince Messi

The Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza has travelled to Spain in an effort to persuade Lionel Messi to stay on the national team.

Messi, a record five-times world player of the year, said in June that “the national team is over for me” following Argentina’s loss in the Copa América final. That was Argentina’s third straight loss in a final, including the 2014 World Cup.
Messi will start the season Sunday, when Barcelona plays the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla.

On being appointed last week, Bauza said one of his first missions was to speak directly to Messi about his problems with the national team, and he spoke to reporters at Barcelona's El Prat airport on arrival in Europe.

"I'm feeling good as I'm here to speak about football, a language we know well," Bauza said. "This chat will be about a decision, I'm not here to convince Messi, I'm here to chat about football. I want him to tell me about the frustration which lead him to say what he did."

Bauza said he also hoped to speak with Mascherano and perhaps other players, so he can hopefully have as strong a squad as possible for the looming World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela in early September.

"I'm coming here to speak with Messi and Mascherano," he said. "If I have time I will go somewhere else too. I'm a natural optimist."

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