5 Reasons Lionel Messi Should Retire From Argentina After World Cup 2018

4. Let The Young Players Have A Go

Messi Vs Nigeria1
Massimo Pinca/AP

24-year-old Paulo Dybala scored 22 league goals for Juventus in Serie A last season, yet he played just 22 minutes of this World Cup. Compared with Messi many times in the past, Dybala has struggled to play alongside the 31-year-old for Argentina on numerous occasions and has thus been forced out of the national team's first eleven, despite having bags of talent and so much to offer.

There's a real case to be made that Argentina might have enjoyed a better World Cup had Dybala been given more minutes, but he wasn't because the idea of dropping a player of Messi's calibre is unthinkable for even the boldest of coaches. That makes total sense, but the longer Messi keeps going, the less time these young players are going to get to show what they can do in the national side.

There comes a time when even the greatest of players step aside and make way for the new generation. None of Argentina's young players look anywhere near as good as Messi, and it will take time for the team to adapt to a life without their talisman, but the likes of Dybala, as well as Inter's Mauro Icardi and promising youngsters like Lautaro Martínez and Ángel Correa could help to breathe some new life into an old side.


Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.