Buenos Aires - Argentina's new coach Edgardo Bauza said
Tuesday he is "optimistic" he can convince Lionel Messi to come out
of early international retirement.
Bauza's number one task in his new job is to convince the
29-year-old Barcelona star and five-time World Player of the Year to reconsider
his abrupt decision to quit the national team.
"I'm optimistic about Messi," Bauza told Fox
Sports, a day after being appointed.
"I hope that the chat I'd like to have with him will
help convince him to stay with the team. I want to explain my idea to Messi.
His position on the pitch is the least of my worries."
Bauza, 58, was speaking from Brazil, where he previously
coached Sao Paulo. He joins Argentina fresh from coaching the club to the
semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.
Also read: Argentina name Edgardo Bauza new coach
Bauza has won two Copa Libertadores -- one in 2014 with San
Lorenzo, the other in 2008 with Ecuadoran side LDU Quito.
He takes over an Argentina outfit smarting from Messi's
abrupt retirement announcement, the departure of coach Gerardo Martino and a
series of disappointing losses in big tournaments -- most recently in the Copa
America final, the catalyst for Messi's exit.
Messi left the pitch in tears after that loss to Chile,
saying: "For me, the national team is over."
Bauza said he has not been in touch with Messi yet, but
plans to travel to Barcelona to meet with him.
"I don't have to convince him of anything. The idea is
just to chat about football," he added.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.