Lionel Messi rubbishes claims that he has a say on who gets called up for Argentina
Posted: 8 November 2017 Time: 19:45
FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi insists he has never interfered with call-ups for the Argentina national team, after Mauro Icardi was omitted on many occasions.
The Inter Milan striker was repeatedly left out of the Argentina squad despite his fine form at club level over the past year.
There were reports claiming that Messi did not want Icardi to join the squad due to an off-field issue involving the former's friend, Udinese striker Maxi Lopez.
“It was said that I didn’t want Icardi coming to the national team, but I’ve never decided if a player comes or not,” Messi told Olé.
“Now it’s coming out that all that was said was a lie. I never said I didn’t want Icardi in the national team, nor did I make anyone leave other players out.
“Telling great players that they’re only playing because they’re Messi’s friend is disrespectful, and it’s also a total lie because I don’t run the national team.”