‘They won’t win a game if Messi quits’
Lionel Messi decided to take a temporary break from Argentina national team with several media reports claiming that he will not be available for the national team this year.
Even before the news was making the rounds, former Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov commented earlier yesterday that it will be a disaster for Argentina if Messi does decide to leave.
"If Messi quits Argentina tomorrow, they would not win a game for three years,” Stoichkov said in an interview with Ole.
Like many former players from Argentina and also outside, Stoichkov was uncertain about the direction that Argentina wanted to take with their football. The country’s run in international tournaments have always ended in utter disappointment with Russia 2018 the latest in a long line of bad team performances. Argentina does not have a structure and Stoichkov was of the opinion that the federation do not know how to depend or Messi or create a stable team.
"First of all, you have to know what model of football you want. If you want to depend on Messi or 22 players. Argentine football has to have a structure and I don't know about what the new president wants. That is the big question."
He also hit out at suggestions that the team was picked according to Messi’s wishes. "It's a lie that someone invented a while back. So, I should be coach of the Argentina national team because I'm a friend of Leo. It's a lie. How can people be like that?"
Following the news, Messi former Argentina teammate Carlos Tevez said: "It's very personal, Leo must take his time to think about it," said Carlos Tevez, who is in Barcelona for Boca Juniors' friendly on Wednesday at the Camp Nou.
"It's understandable... even if he doesn't come back. When the international side play, rightly or wrongly, we criticise him. It's bad for the team and for him... I understand because I've been in that situation."
TyC Sport report said that Messi communicated his decision to interim coach Lionel Scaloni and the reason for his break is the uncertainty over the current project of the national setup and also the heartbreak of the World Cup exit in Russia 2018.