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Menotti predicts Messi will reverse Argentina retirement

Former Argentina and Barcelona coach Cesar Luis Menotti believes Lionel Messi will reverse his decision to retire from international football.

Argentina were beaten on penalties by Chile in the final of the Copa America Centenario in the United States last month – Messi tasting defeat in the decider for the fourth time with his country.

Following the match at MetLife Stadium the Barca superstar announced he would not return to the national team, but Menotti is confident he will reconsider.

"It's very difficult to give an opinion as Messi said what he said," Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning coach told Sport.

"There comes a time when the motivation to be in the national team is lost, for thousands of reasons I cannot explain.

"You would have to discuss it with him. I believe there were many things he experienced, and then they did not win. I believe Messi will change his mind."

Messi's international retirement has placed the spotlight on the controversy at the Argentinian Football Association (AFA), with a permanent successor to former president Julio Grondona, who died in 2014, yet to be determined.

"I do not remember a situation as chaotic. Since I have been involved in football, the presidents were the people who loved their club and wanted to help – then we went into the world of business," continued Menotti.

"I do not want to make coarse comparisons, but in the US when Al Capone was taken to prison it was the biggest crisis in the mafia because everyone wanted to take his place and nobody was capable.

"It used to be handled with the accompaniment of good results, with the figure of Maradona too.

"The only way out of this crisis would have been if Argentina had won."