Lionel Messi has insisted he has no plans to quit representing Argentina after scoring a last-gasp equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against Mexico.
Gerardo Martino’s side were 2-0 down going into the final five minutes in Texas on Tuesday, until goals from Sergio Aguero and the Barcelona star sealed a dramatic comeback.
The leveller wrapped up an impressive international break for Messi, who also scored twice in a 25-minute cameo from the substitutes’ bench in his side’s 7-0 win over Bolivia on Friday.
The 28-year-old now has 49 international goals and he took the chance to address intense speculation over his future in the months since Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the final of the Copa America – a tournament fallout that saw his individual contributions criticised.
“So long as the coach wants me, I will be here forever – even more so after the disappointments we experienced as have not won a trophy during all my time with the national team,” Messi told TyCSports.
“Now there are more goals and new opportunities which will come, so we must continue fighting.
“The team received a lot of criticism but we made two finals in a year, which is not easy.
“Everything bad that happened to us was because we were convinced that [the Chile final] was the moment that we would be champions because of how we got there, for the group of players and that we had a lot of faith. It was very hard for everyone.”
The Argentina captain then turned his attention to the South American World Cup qualifiers, which kick off for his side with games against Ecuador and Paraguay on October 9 and 13.
“The qualifiers are harder every time,” said Messi. “We have to start well because we know how difficult it can be.
“These have been 10 very positive days. Against Mexico I think we did a lot of good things. We also committed some errors, which we have to work on, but the important thing is what comes next.”