Montevideo: Uruguay striker Luis Suarez believes that Argentina star and his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi will reverse his decision to quit international football.
Messi called time on his international career in the immediate aftermath of Argentina's defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final. It was the third time in three successive years that Messi and Argentina failed to grab a major trophy, losing to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup followed by Chile in the Copa America final last year.
Barcelona trio Suarez, Messi and Neymar. Pic/ AFP
The Barcelona star was left in tears having missed his penalty in the shootout, but several high-profile figures in Argentina, including the nation's president Mauricio Macri and Diego Maradona, have urged the 29-year-old not to go through with his decision.
"I'm sure that he will change his mind, but whatever he decides he will still be the best ever. Knowing Leo, I’m sure it was said in a moment of sadness and helplessness," Suarez was quoted as saying by Radio Tenfield of Uruguay on Tuesday.
"It would be a shame for football if he took this decision, but I'm sure he will reconsider and change his mind. It's a difficult time. Everyone has the right to make decisions and they should be respected."
Argentina, the second most successful nation at the Copa America with 14 titles, thus continue their 23-year wait to win a major tournament. Their last triumph was in 1993 when they won the Copa America title.
The defeat was rendered even more poignant for Argentina fans as Messi announced his retirement. The announcement brought down the curtains on an international career which started in 2005.