Argentina coach Scaloni responds to Lionel Messi's retirement comments

Messi has hinted he could retire after the 2022 World Cup
Messi has hinted he could retire after the 2022 World Cup / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has responded to Lionel Messi's retirement comments and added that fans must enjoy the striker while they still can.

Last week, the 34-year-old admitted he will rethink his international career after this year's World Cup in Qatar. Messi has never won the World Cup and this could, potentially, be his last shot at lifting the most prestigious trophy in football.

The Paris Saint-Germain star previously called time on his Argentina career in 2016 following a run of three successive defeats in finals, but reversed that decision within a month after a public campaign from fans urged him to return to the national side.

However, Scaloni has warned fans to make the most of Messi plying his trade because he will retire one day.

“After playing in a World Cup, everyone makes assessments. I’m not in the heads of the players to know what they’re thinking," he said.

"In any case, you have to enjoy it. You don’t have to think about the future, enjoy their spectacular present. It’s the rule of life and at some point it will happen. It’s useless to think about what will happen after the World Cup."

Messi isn't the only one considering retirement after the 2022 World Cup, with Angel di Maria already having confirmed he will play his final game for Argentina in Qatar.

Scaloni, however, insisted he hasn't heard from Di Maria directly, and added: "I didn’t see the post but I understood it as being about this team, I would imagine.

"I spoke with him some time ago. That it’s the decision of the coach [for him to stop playing] and not them that leave us. There is an age for everyone, many trips have passed and matches, which I would imagine is difficult.

"I hope he said that about this year. I don’t know what is going on in his head. If it was the last, it could not have been any better. It came out like he would have dreamed it. He put in the effort to be there and it’s very difficult that someone else would have played it or been available. He didn’t just play, he had a goal, an assist and he got the ovation from the entire stadium.”