This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Lionel Messi has reconsidered his decision to quit international soccer and will continue playing for Argentina's national team.
Messi said Friday that Argentine football has "a lot of problems" — with the country's soccer federation in financial chaos — but he wanted to help where he could.
"There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved in Argentine football, but I prefer to help from within and not criticize from the outside," Messi said. "I don't want to cause any harm, I've always tried to do the exact opposite and help out in whatever way possible."
Messi said he was done with the national team after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final in June, when the Barcelona playmaker missed a penalty kick in the decisive shootout.
"A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great," Messi said in a statement released by his managers.
He thanked those who wanted him "to continue playing for Argentina."
"I hope that we'll be able to give them something to cheer about soon," Messi said.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.