Lionel Messi could end his international career with Argentina after the 31-year-old revealed he will not be available for national team selection for the remainder of 2018.
The Barcelona star will make a final decision regarding availability for his country early next year after a permanent manager has been put in charge.
Jorge Sampaoli was sacked by the Argentinian FA following a poor World Cup with Lionel Scaloni taking over the role as a caretaker for the time being.
Messi has retired from international duty before only to perform a dramatic U-turn.
In 2016, following a penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final where the 31-year-old missed one of the penalties, Messi announced his retirement from international football.
However, only a week later it was reported that the forward had changed his mind and he was selected in Argentina’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers just two months after his announcement.
He helped his country reach the World Cup only to fall at the round of 16 in a thrilling 4-3 defeat against eventual champions, France.
Due to the nature of the South American football calendar, Argentina will not play a competitive match again until next year.
The inauguration of the European Nations League also eliminates any opportunities for high-profile friendlies against European countries during the international breaks.
Therefore, Argentina will face Guatemala and Columbia in September of this year in low key friendly matches.
It is not surprising that Messi has little interest in playing these games under a caretaker manager and is instead choosing to recuperate over the international break this year.
Messi has endured many disappointments when playing for Argentina and has retired from his national duties before.
However, he has also changed his mind about retirement before and that makes it difficult to know if he is simply skipping a couple of meaningless friendly matches or planning to retire from international football completely.
Messi will focus on helping Barcelona domestically and in Europe over the next few months.
He will likely wait until a new permanent manager has been announced by the Argentinian FA and then make a final decision about his future with the national team.