Never said would quit Argentina: Messi

Barcelona, Aug 28 (IANS) Argentine forward Lionel Messi on Friday hit out at local media for reports stating he would take a break from his national side after a disappointing performance in the Copa America.

The 28-year-old star was put under the scanner by the local media after his side went down to Chile on penalties in the Copa America final.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino backed the forward and said he would have gone away if he was subjected to the media abuse which Messi had to face.

“I never said that I wasn’t going to play any longer with the national team,” Messi was quoted as saying by goal.

“The media can’t kill me any more than they already have,” he said.

“I am used to them saying these types of things. Now we have friendlies and as long as the coach calls me up I am going to continue to be present.”

The four-time world player of the year is in Martino’s squad to face Bolivia and Mexico in the United States of America (USA) next month.

The talismanic striker has scored 46 goals from 103 outings for his national side, just 10 behind Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer, Gabriel Batistuta.

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