ARGENTINA

Argentina's Bauza accused of "friends of Messi" team policy

'Debate Final' on Fox Sports claims Messi vetoed Mauro Icardi's inclusion in the national set-up and that Bauza picks the Barça star's allies.

Argentina's Bauza accused of "friends of Messi" team policy
AFA

Criticism of the Argentina national team after a World Cup qualifying loss to Paraguay left the Albiceleste fifth in the Conmebol standings has been sustained. After an Argentinean journalist accused Edgardo Bauza of making team selections based on who gets along with Leo Messi, there was a barrage of abuse over his decision not to remove the ineffectual Sergio Agüero or Ángel di María to try and turn the Paraguay match.

"Friends of Messi club"

Now, Fox Sports television program Debate Final has gone one step further, claiming that Argentina is run as a “friends of Messi club” and that the Barcelona star vetoed the inclusion of Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi over his “betrayal” of Maxi López after the striker’s affair with the former Barcelona player’s then-spouse, Wanda Nara, who Icardi is now married to. López was at Barça when a young Messi was breaking into the first team and the two are close friends.

El mejor Guerrero no es el que Triunfa Siempre, sino el que vuelve sin Miedo a la Batalla 🇦🇷⚪️🔵 @leomessi #MessiNoSeVa

Una foto publicada por Mauro Icardi (@mauroicardi) el

Icardi call-up

Icardi has only once been called up to the Argentina squad and welcomed Messi’s decision to renege on his international retirement on social media.

Maradona

Icardi has also been on the receiving end from Diego Maradona, who was asked about Icardi’s chances of a call-up recently. “I don’t know but I don’t talk about traitors. I’m here [in Rome] for the Game for Peace and he has nothing to do with it or with the kids.”

“I don’t want to talk about a person who has never been an example to others,” Icardi retorted.