Argentina's Lionel Messi revealed he had no intention of making a flimsy decision when it came to announcing his retirement from international football in June 2016.
The 29-year-old was back on the turf in Argentina colours on Friday for the 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers three months after he shocked the world with his decision. On his return, the all-time scorer added one more goal to his tally of 55 and helped his team pip Uruguay 1-0 in Mendoza.
Battling a groin injury, Barcelona star scored the only goal of the match when his strike deflected off defender Jose Gimenez before finding the back of the net. Messi was able to give joy to his country yet another time as Argentina topped the CONMEBOL qualification standings with 14 points from seven games.
However making the return was not easy for Messi, who had said he would never want to play for Argentina again shortly after missing a penalty in the final of 2016 Copa America Centenario against Chile. After failing to lead his team past in three consecutive finals, starting from the 2014 World Cup clash against Germany, Messi said he would help the team improve from being outside.
"From the moment I said that, the fans showed me a lot of affection and I'm really grateful, I couldn't come back. I did not deceive anybody when I retired, I felt that," Messi told TV Publica, as quoted by goal.com.
But after being persuaded by fans, former players and coach Edgardo Bauza, Messi confirmed he would be available for selection on the last date for naming squads for qualifiers in August 2016. He revealed that Bauza played a key role in helping him make a comeback. Messi though is unlikely to play side's next qualifier against Venezuela Tuesday due to the groin injury.
"We were very disappointed with what had happened, but after that I thought better. I had a conversation with the Paton [Bauza] and the people as well accompanied me through it," he explained.
"I don't know if I will play against Venezuela. I have a lot of pain in my groin, but I wanted to be here after the disturbance I caused."