It is better for Lionel Messi not to return to the Argentina national team. So says soccer legend and former coach of the two-time world champions, Diego Maradona.

Messi, 31, last featured for Argentina at the World Cup, skipping friendlies in September and being ruled out of upcoming matches against Iraq and Brazil.

Maradona, a 1986 World Cup winner, feels Messi – Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer – should retire from international duty despite not winning anything significant in his long spell with the national team.

Asked what he would say to Messi, Maradona told Clarin: "Don't come anymore."

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He added: "The under-15s lose and it's Messi's fault. The fixture in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame. It's always his fault.

"I would say, 'don't go anymore'. Let's see if they can handle it."

Messi and Argentina, who scraped into Russia 2018, were eliminated in the last 16 by eventual champions - France.

The star's international future has been in doubt since the showpiece tournament, with Messi having previously retired in 2016.

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