Argentina FA update on Messi future

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Messi, 31, has been allowed of leave of absence from the national team since the disastrous 2018 World Cup showing in Russia.

After caretaker coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed this week that the captain will be omitted for the second successive squad, reports in Argentinean media speculated that their attacking talisman may retire for the second time.

The FC Barcelona skipper is absent for the international friendlies in Saudi Arabia against Iraq on October 12 and Brazil four days later - but AFA president Claudio Tapia claims his return is an eventuality.

"I have no doubts that he will return to play [with the national team]," Tapia told TyC Sports.

"We have to let him be and give him the time he needs. We have to continue the way we are.

"I'm completely calm, knowing that he, more than anyone, loves the national team jersey," he added.

"I don't put a time to his return. We have to let things flow and it will happen when it has to happen. We cannot be hasty."

Messi, 31, has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since making his debut with Argentina in August 2005.

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