He did not press Lionel Messi to return, according to the Argentine Football Association


Lionel Messi has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances for Argentina © AFP

Claiming that Lionel Messi has given Argentina much more than what he received in return, the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia, said on Thursday that he will not pressure the FC Barcelona star to return to the fold . "We have to be grateful, he has done a lot for the national team and we have paid him in the worst possible way," said Tapia, quoted by ESPNFC. Messi has taken an indefinite break from the Argentina team after captaining them to the round of 16. The interim head coach, Lionel Scaloni, said Messi's absence will be felt.

"We miss him, but we have to let him be, in peace, he has to enjoy his family, his life, we'll see what happens next," he told TyC Sports.

"Once we have a project, a name (new full-time coach), we'll see what Leo thinks."

Messi has not yet won an important trophy with his country despite competing in five World Cups and eight Copa Americas.

The 31-year-old has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since debuting with Argentina in August 2005.