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Everton first-teamer urges Messi to reconsider decision

By Dominic Toner

Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori hopes that Argentina star Lionel Messi will play for the national side again.

The Barcelona forward announced his international retirement following the Copa America defeat in the summer.

Goodison first-teamer Funes Mori told the Liverpool Echo: “It was said at a sad moment, not just for Messi, but for all of us. We wanted to win the cup but at the end of the day we couldn’t make it but hopefully he decides to come back.

“Maybe he said it in a moment when he was made but hopefully for football, for the people and for everything, we need these kind of players because they are different.”

Argentina suffered a cruel penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the Copa America final for the second consecutive year and Messi continued his wretched international form in finals.

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Meanwhile footballing rival Cristiano Ronaldo finally achieved his ambition of international success as he lifted the Euro 2016 trophy, after Portugal defeat host France 1-0 in the final.

Despite Messi missing out on winning the South American competition he did still produce the goods individually, and scored five goals supplemented by four assists.

Team-mate Funes Mori was first called up to the national side in 2015 and was named in the Copa America squad.

The centre-back has now returned to pre-season to work under new boss Ronald Koeman as Everton look to improve on their 11th-placed finish from last season.

In other Everton news, manager Koeman has used one word to describe his players.