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Pele tells Barcelona maestro Messi to recoil on Argentina retirement

Football legend Pele has urged Lionel Messi to forget about his botched penalty in Argentina's ill-fated Copa America campaign.

The Barcelona star indicated he would be retiring from international football after missing a penalty in La Albiceleste's penalty shootout loss to Chile in the 2016 Copa final, which was Messi's third final defeat in three years after the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa defeats.

However, Brazil hero Pele believes the 29-year-old should backtrack on his retirement comments and bounce back to lead Argentina to glory.

"In the last 10 years, no doubt he was the best player. What happened to him happens in football. Only the one who kicks the penalty can miss the penalty," Pele said.

"He got very upset but maybe wait a little bit and he'll forget because this has happened with a lot of good players. A lot of good players have missed penalty kicks.

"The last 15 years, for me, he was one of the best players in the world and this is more important.

"I hope he listens to me."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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