Edgardo Bauza, the new coach for Argentina’s national football team, is currently in Spain and will be meeting with Argentine heartbreaker Lionel Messi on Thursday morning. He is expected to receive the final word on whether or not Messi will be playing with la Selección in the 2018 World Cup.
Don’t be fooled: Bauza is not going to meet with Messi to reminisce about all the good times or bribe him to take back his jersey. At the airport he explained, “I did not come to convince Messi of anything, I want him to tell me about his frustrations, explain the idea that I have for la Selección so that he feels comfortable and find out if he wants to change the decision he made after the final of the Copa América.” Bauza’s priority as coach may be winning back Messi but he will be doing it his own way, with dignity.
Javier Mascherano will also be having a chat with El patón (Bauza’s nickname meaning “Big Foot” reportedly because of his large feet: rumor has it he wears a size 47 shoe). You might be asking yourself at this point if this new coach has to special order his shoes and why he has decided to dilly dally in conversations with Argentine football players other than Messi while in Spain but it turns out Argentina has more than one important player. Mascherano is another leader of the team that has expressed interest in leaving, so Bauza will be talking with him as well to see if he will join the National Football Team in the 2018 World Cup.
Bauza has to submit the final roster by this Friday. The first qualifying game is already coming up on September 1st against Uruguay in Mendoza and the second game will be against Venezuela on the sixth. The weight of Messi and Mascherano’s decisions will reveal itself shortly.