After Argentine football star Lionel Messi tearfully announced his retirement from the national team following the Copa América loss against Chile, fans around the world have dropped to their knees and swarmed the figurative streets of social media to express their love in hopes la pulga will change his mind and stay.
Including President Mauricio Macri.
In Macri’s official Twitter statement, he utilized the hashtag #NoTeVayasLio (Don’t Leave, Lio) that has been trending around the world. In another tweet, he said that the team gave everything they had and the sadness will pass. According to local press, he also had a personal phone conversation with Messi in which he congratulated him on his efforts. Macri said that Messi thanked him for the gesture and mentioned the possibility of meeting in person before he returns to Spain.
Más q nunca siento un gran orgullo x nuestra selección. Espero q la alegría de ver al mejor del mundo continúe muchos años más.#NoTeVayasLio
— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) June 27, 2016
“More than ever we feel so proud of our national team. I hope that the joy of seeing the best player in the world continues for years to come. #Don’tLeaveLio”
Not to be outdone, Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta took to Twitter with an intimate video and the promise of inaugurating his own statue in the city. We’re thinking Messi wanted a win more than a statue, but that’s pretty cool too.
— H Rodríguez Larreta (@horaciorlarreta) June 27, 2016
“#Don’tLeaveLio Thank you forever for your talent and for your humility.”
On Saturday July 2 at 6 PM, Messi fans are set to take to the literal streets this time and congregate around the Obelisco. They’re hoping to show Messi how passionate they are that he continues to represent Argentina. It’s also somewhat of a makeshift apology for criticizing him all these years. So far around 50,000 people have expressed interest on the Facebook group and are planning to show up.
We can only wait and see if Messi makes his encore appearance or if the show really is over. If it is, will everyone go home?