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 By Sam Kelly

Lionel Messi gets the headlines but Edgardo Bauza inspires Argentina

MENDOZA, Argentina -- "I wasn't kidding when I said it," Lionel Messi told journalists after Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay in Mendoza last night. He was referring to his decision, now reversed, to retire from international football after the final of the Copa America Centenario two months ago.

"I was really disappointed because it was a hard blow to take, and I said I was retiring because I really thought I was going to. But afterwards, thinking about what a great group we have here, and with...

 By Sam Kelly

Argentina fans show love of Messi as the Albiceleste escape vs. Uruguay

Here are three takeaways following Argentina's nervy 1-0 win against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier in Mendoza that saw the hosts play the second half with only 10 players.

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1. Argentina still loves Messi

"Lio: Thanks for so much, sorry for so little" read a banner hanging from the centre of the stands in Mendoza, directly across from the television cameras and the tunnel where the players entered the pitch. It had been there for at least two-and-a-half hours by the time the match kicked off....

 By Sam Kelly

Edgardo Bauza era with Argentina will be aided by Lionel Messi's return

Argentina's Javier Mascherano tried to put a positive spin on Argentina's recent high-profile failures in recent tournaments.
Edgardo Bauza will have a tough introduction to life as Argentina manager, but at least he has Lionel Messi.

Europe's World Cup qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 might be just preparing for kickoff, but elsewhere in the world, the process has been underway for some time, and there will be few, if any, bigger fixtures on the international calendar this week than Argentina vs. Uruguay. For new Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza, it will be a baptism of fire. His first game in charge is one of the world's oldest international clasicos.

The issues that have beset the Argentine Football Association recently...

 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...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FC Daily: France open Euro 2016 vs. Romania; Messi returns for Argentina

ESPN FC's Frank Leboeuf looks ahead to how France will line up against Romania in the Euro 2016 opener.

It's Friday, June 10, and Euro 2016 is set to begin! Here's a look at the big stories and what you need to know from Paris, as well as all the talking points from the Copa America Centenario.

Matches of the day

European Championship hosts France get the action underway at the Stade de France against Romania on Friday (9 p.m. CET/3 p.m. ET, ESPN2). As Simon Kuper writes, there is good cause for optimism on the pitch as the nation eyes a repeat of the 1998 World Cup success on home soil.

Off the pitch,...

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay desperately short of ideas in Venezuela upset

Venezuela ended Uruguay's Copa America Centenario campaign with a 1-0 win.

This time there was no Luis Suarez to save the day.

Two years ago, Uruguay lost their opening game in the 2014 World Cup to CONCACAF opposition, only for Luis Suarez to return from injury to inspire the team to consecutive victories which ensured the team's qualification for the second round.

Suarez wanted to try for a repeat. Having missed Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Mexico he seemed anxious to come on in the dying moments of the 1-0 loss to Venezuela. But Uruguay clearly did not want to risk his muscle...