Tevez tells Argentina to give Messi time after announcing retirement

by
Reuters

Carlos Tevez knows exactly how Lionel Messi feels. The Boca Juniors star missed a penalty in the 2011 Copa America as Argentina exited the tournament in the quarter-finals.

It wasn't quite the showpiece event, but there were times when Tevez "got tired of the national team."

So he's asking the Argentinian public to be patient with Messi following last week's shocking decision to retire from international duty.

"The AFA (Argentinian Football Association) is an absolute mess," Tevez told broadcaster TyC Sports, according to ESPN FC. "Leo sees the players breaking their backs for the shirt and sees the AFA neglecting them.

"We have to put ourselves in his position. He is tired, and that's normal. I also got tired of the national team a few times.

"We have to give him time. It is obvious that we need him.

"After a few games have passed and everything at the AFA is a bit more organised, perhaps the national team can seduce him back - and we'll be waiting for him."

FIFA recently appointed a committee to take over the AFA's daily affairs after the federation's president, Luis Segura, was charged with fraud.

Reports indicate FIFA could even elect to suspend the country from taking part in FIFA events, including crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Messi called the AFA a "disgrace" during the Copa America Centenario, complaining about long waits at airports and an overall lack of planning.