Over 100,000 Messi fans pleading for change of heart
Come on Messi, don’t give up on us
Lionel Messi’s retirement from international football has prompted quite a response from his fans in Argentina with over 100,000 people reportedly set to march in the centre of Buenos Aires to persuade the Barcelona superstar to reverse his decision.
The Obelisco is traditionally where fans gather to celebrate titles for either local clubs or the national team, but those going on Saturday plan to protest against their captain’s international retirement.
Messi, 29, announced his retirement from the Argentina national side following their 2016 Copa America final defeat to Chile in a penalty shootout.
It is his third major final defeat with Argentina in as many years, following 2015’s Copa America loss—also to Chile on penalties—and 2014’s World Cup final defeat to Germany in Brazil.
Messi was also on the losing side to Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final, the year before he claimed his only significant silverware with La Albiceleste, an Olympic gold medal in 2008.
By contrast he has won many trophies with club side Barca over the last decade—eight La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, four UEFA Champions Leagues and three FIFA Club World Cups—while carving out a deserved reputation as the best player on the planet.
It has never translated into glory on the international stage, though, and despite the calls from his compatriots for him to continue playing for Argentina, it is unlikely Messi will return after falling so agonizingly short so consistently.
Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Larreta Rodriguez unveiled the statue on the shores of the River Plate.