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Maradona says he will fight for Messi who has been left alone

The legend of Argentine football that is Maradona has spoken after Messi announced his retirement saying he will speak to him and ask him to change his decision.

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Maradona says he will fight for Messi who has been left alone

Diego Armando Maradona jumped to the defence of Messi after the Barça star said that he would retire from international football following Argentina's loss in a second consecutive Copa América final - both to Chile.

His former coach in Argentina acknowledged that the 29-year old felt alone and that he would speak to him to try and get him to reconsider his decision.

"Messi has to continue with the national team because he has more to give and can go to Russia and become world champion," said the legendary player to La Nacion.

Togetherness

However, Maradona also talked about the support between Messi and his teammates.

"He has to rely more on the guys who can help him to take the team forward and less on those who say he has to go. Put aside those who won't even let him cry. They don't play and they don't let him mourn. Because those who say that he has to go do it so that we don't see the disaster that is Argentine football."

El Pelusa regrets that Messi has been left somewhat alone and will fight for him.

"They have left Messi alone and I don't want to see him alone. For this reason I want to talk with him, to fight against all those that have left him. From the first to the last leader."

Changing tone

It's fair to say that this is quite a change from what Maradona was saying just prior to the final of the Copa América where he said to the team, "if you don't win, don't come back". He has often taken potshots at Messi including, criticizing him on the eve of the tournament for a perceived lack of personality. "He's a really good person, but he has no personality," Maradona said in Paris shortly before the start of Euro 2016. "He lacks the character to be a leader."

His official Twitter account looked so much more positive just prior to the final...