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BREAKING NEWS: Messi to return to international football

Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will return to the Argentina national team, having initially announced his retirement following defeat in the Copa America final.

The Barcelona star had indicated he would call time on his international career after Argentina lost on penalties to Chile in June, having been beaten by the same opposition in a shoot-out in the 2015 final.

Edgardo Bauza has since replaced Gerardo Martino as coach and, following talks, Messi has elected to make himself available for forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

"I see there are lots of problems in Argentine football and I do not want to create another," he said in a statement released on Friday.

"I do not want to cause any harm, I have always tried to do the opposite and help wherever I could. 

"We have to fix a lot of things in Argentine football, but I'd rather do that from the inside and not criticising from the outside.

"A lot of things went through my head the day of the last final and I seriously thought about quitting, but I love this country and this shirt too much."