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For Messi, retiring is a nonverbal apology

Copa America

Messi's Argentina career in numbers

Five Aside
 By Tim Vickery

Questions loom over Argentina ahead of Bauza's first match in charge

ESPN FC's Craig Burley takes issue with Lionel Messi's sudden return to the national team.

The weekend before international dates is always a stressful time for national team bosses, worrying about their players getting injured in action for their clubs.

Coaches of South American national teams have extra causes for concern, with the continent's Russia 2018 qualification campaign entering into its second third.

Their star players face long flights back from Europe and there is virtually no time available to get them together on the training ground. In the previous campaign, the games...

 By Tim Vickery

Lionel Messi's short-lived retirement ends ahead of Argentina WC qualifiers

ESPN FC's Craig Burley takes issue with Lionel Messi's sudden return to the national team.

Well that didn't last very long. Less than seven weeks after announcing his retirement from international football, Lionel Messi is back in the Argentina squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela in World Cup qualification at the start of next month.

There was always the feeling -- and the hope -- that Messi would go back on his decision. The Barcelona star made the call amidst the emotion and disappointment after he had missed a penalty in the shootout as Argentina lost to Chile in the final of the...

 By Sam Kelly

Lionel Messi return on Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza's list of priorities

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner explains whether or not Argentina's new manager can bring Messi out of international retirement.

As Argentina's new manager, Edgardo Bauza has no time to waste settling into his role.

Bauza has just two weeks to name his first squad and although he can't be expected to solve the boardroom issues at the Asociacion de Futbol Argentino (AFA), he can address five issues on the pitch ...

1. Get Lionel Messi back

When Messi announced after the Copa America Centenario final that he was retiring from international football, his decision seemed to owe a lot to the crisis at the AFA.

Bauza's first...

 By Tim Vickery

'Bigfoot' Bauza faces mammoth task as new Argentina manager

New Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza will step right into a very difficult World Cup qualifying campaign.

Some reports claim the sasquatch, the legendary and perhaps mythical bigfoot creature, is an accomplished swimmer.

This may come as good news to Argentina's new coach. Edgardo Bauza, announced on Monday, is nicknamed "Bigfoot" -- and he is being thrown right in the deep end.

A third of South America's 2018 World Cup qualification campaign has already been played. Argentina got off to a terrible start, in part because Lionel Messi missed the first four rounds through injury. Normal service resumed...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Leroy Sane signs for Manchester City from Schalke

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik and Mark Donaldson assess Manchester City's newest signing, Germany international Leroy Sane.

Here are the latest stories for Tuesday.

MAN CITY: Manchester City have signed Germany international Leroy Sane from Schalke for an undisclosed fee. Sane, 20, has been Pep Guardiola's top attacking target this summer and the new City boss has finally secured him on a five-year deal.

- Here are five things you need to know about the new City man.

MAN UNITEDDavid Moyes insists he was unfairly treated at Manchester United as he begins his new role at Sunderland. The Scot was sacked...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2016 Olympics men's football preview

The Olympic football tournament is almost set to kick off in Rio de Janeiro. Here is a preview of all 16 teams.


BRAZIL: The Brazilians are red-hot favourites to at last win the only title they are lacking, both because of the depleted competition and because they are taking it so seriously. For many Brazilians, the men's football tournament will be the most important part of the Games. Moreover, after years of disappointment, Brazil need something special to bring the fans back onside.