Buenos Aires: Argentina’s new football coach Edgardo Bauza has said frustration and a deep sense of hurt has forced Lionel Messi to retire from international football, promising to persuade the superstar to return.
Messi announced a shock retirement after failing to drive his team to victory at the recently held Copa America Centenario, beaten by Chile in the final.
The defeat had serious ramifications in Argentine football with coach Tata Martino resigning from his post and several other high profile players thinking of emulating Messi.
Argentina even struggled to put together a team for the Rio Olympics as several local clubs refused to release footballers.
The committee running the country’s football affairs named Buaza as the new coach, who is leaving his job as Brazilian club Sao Paulo boss to take over.
He appeared in his first press conference to local media on Wednesday where he commented on Messi’s retirement from the national team.
“I am going to speak about football (with Messi). I want to know how he feels, how he felt in that moment when he had to talk and say that phrase. (I want to know) what happened to him for him to come to that conclusion,” Bauza said, according to a report in Brazilian local daily Clarin.
“Those of us who have been football players know that frustration can sometimes lead you to make decisions that upset and hurt,” said the new coach.
“I still can’t imagine the team without Messi. We will know more once we talk with him,” added Bauza.
The coach also hinted that in his first match in charge, star striker Gonzalo Higuain, would be included in the team.
Higuain recently moved from Italian club Napoli to champions Juventus for a figure close to 100 million euros (around $112 million).