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Argentina need Lionel Messi for financial reasons - AFA president

Argentina need Lionel Messi for financial reasons - AFA president AFA need Messi for financial reas...

Argentina need Lionel Messi for financial reasons - AFA president

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Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claud io Tapia said Lionel Messi must continue to play for the national team because the organisation benefits financially from his appearances.

Messi has not addressed his future with Argentina after they were knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 by France, but he said before the tournament began that his team would need to win it "now or never."

"Emotionally, this blow must have been very hard on him, but Argentina needs him," Tapia told Radio Mitre. "From a financial standpoint, Messi is very important to the AFA.

"I think Messi will continue. He loves the Argentina national team a lot. We have a lot of confidence in him."

Tapia, who was in contact with Messi last week, said the Argentina captain needs to be given some time to decide if he'll return to the Albiceleste.

"We have a good relationship," Tapia said. "He is on holiday and enjoying his family. We did not speak at all about the World Cup. We have to leave him alone, let him [collect his thoughts], begin the season in Spain and see what happens next year."

Messi's mother, Celia Cuccittini, said before the World Cup that her son suffered from the criticism over his performances with Argentina.

"We saw him like many others did, with this degree of responsibility that we also generated a little bit," Tapia said of Messi, who scored one goal and set up two more at the World Cup. "We thought he was a superhero but he is a human being. He is the best player in the world but he is a human being. We loaded him with responsibilities that ended up backfiring."

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi and Argentina were knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16.

If Messi returns to the natio nal team, he will do so with a new coach, as the AFA reached an agreement to part with Jorge Sampaoli earlier this month.

Under Sampaoli, Argentina won seven of their 15 games, including just one at the World Cup -- a 2-1 win over Nigeria in the group stage.

"We are thinking and working towards what is coming next after the performances we had at the World Cup and Sampaoli's departure," Tapia said. "The storm has passed. No one thought that we would have the performances that we had at the World Cup.

"We thought we would do much more. I always said that having a good World Cup meant finishing in the top four."

Tapia denied reports that the AFA approached Colombia coach Jose Pekerman, whose contract expires in August. Peru coach Ricardo Gareca is also reported to be a contender, with Argentina's next games a pair of friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia in the United States in September.

"We will decide al ong with the executive committee who the next coach will be," Tapia said. "We haven't spoken to Jose or anyone else. We will start talking about this on July 31.

"We will work with men who can begin with a total redesign of everything. Things haven't been done well in previous years."

Source: Google News Argentina | Netizen 24 Argentina

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