As reported by El Grafico, midfielder Enzo Fernández, scorer of Argentina’s second and decisive goal in the crucial win over Mexico at the weekend, wrote current teammate Lionel Messi an emotional message as a teenager to try and convince him not to retire from international football.
Back in 2016, Messi had said he would retire from the international game following a crushing defeat by Chile in the Copa America final. A 15-year-old Fernández, then a River Plate academy player, wrote on Facebook to try and convince Messi to stay. Part of the lengthy message said: “Do what you want, Lionel, but please think about staying. Stick around to have fun, which is what our fans have taken from you. As a kid, you probably dreamed of representing this country and having fun. Play to have fun…”
Following the loss to Chile Messi had said: “For me, the national team is over. I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion… “It’s been four finals, I tried.” Although, of course, the PSG forward later reversed his decision.
Messi scored the opener before Fernández’s curling second sealed the pivotal win over Mexico, the two players were seen hugging in the aftermath of Fernández’s goal and Messi praised his young teammate post-game, saying: “He’s a spectacular kid and a very important player for us. I’m very happy for him and for us, because the goal he scored gave us peace of mind in the game.”
Argentina face Poland in their final Group C game on Tuesday, needing a win to be sure of making the last 16 in Qatar.