Friday, January 18, 2019 | Updated at 2:43 PM ET


5 Reasons Why Lionel Messi Must Return to Argentina For World Cup 2018 & Copa America 2019

First Posted: Jul 14, 2016 03:12 PM EDT

Photo : Getty - Jonathan Daniel

It has been almost a month ago since Lionel Messi retired from international soccer, leaving a massive void in his legacy.

But with time having past and his head likelier a bit clearer, it is time to bring up the topic and make the obvious claim - that Messi must return to the national side.

Here are a few reasons why.

He's still in his prime

Messi is 29 and still in his prime. His return would likely be solely for the World Cup in Russia and the Copa America in 2019. He will be 31 and 32 during both of those tournaments. Most players would be in decline by then, but he is a player intelligence enough to adjust his game to suit any situation and should be able to drag Argentina along deep into tournaments.

He would likely have top players alongside him

Let's be honest. Gonzalo Higuain missed three sitters in each of the last three finals that likely would have given Messi a title. He probably will not be around for the World Cup. Messi would probably have the likes of Icardi and Dybala leading the line or even Sergio Aguero if Messi's best friend opts for a return to the national side one last time.

He knows how to get to the final

He has gotten to a final three times so he knows the challenges associated with it. He can use that to guide his new teammates to the promised land.

He knows how to lose in a final...

And he can build off those experiences and pain and suffering to right the wrongs. He has been ever so close to doing it and should be able to use those experiences to getting what he needs.

He has to even the score with Cristiano Ronaldo

At the end of the day, Ronaldo's trophy triumph leaves him with a piece of hardware that Messi desperately needs to shut up the naysayers. Messi would cement his legacy as the best of all time if he could just win with Argentina once. He has two chances to do it before his body gives out.

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