The father of Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio "Kun" Aguero has said that his son will leave the Albiceleste if Lionel Messi insists upon his decision to also call it quits internationally.
Messi publicly announced his decision to retire from international duty after missing the first penalty in Argentina's Copa America final shootout defeat to Chile.
On Monday, Argentina coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino also surprisingly announced his resignation from the team amid reports that the federation has failed to give the Olympic team players clearance from their clubs to compete in Rio.
"If Leo goes, I believe Sergio will go also. They'll leave room for new players," Leonel del Castillo told radio station Paladar Rojo.
- PALADAR ROJO (@Paladarrojo570) July 5, 2016
Argentina lost 4-2 on penalties to Chile in the 2016 Copa America Centenario one year after also losing to the same South American rival on penalties at the Copa America.
The Argentine federation has been in turmoil over the past year and last month its president, Luis Segura, was charged with fraud related to TV broadcasting rights and removed from his post by FIFA.
Del Castillo said that Aguero would likely heed the criticism of Argentine journalists.
"The reporters say that they [players] have completed a cycle, so I guess they should open the door for the next generation," he said.
Messi's retirement sparked a social media movement with the hashtag: Leo don't go, or #NoTeVayasLio and ceremonies have been held in Buenos Aires and around Argentina to attempt to convince the Barcelona star to change his mind.
Toward the end of the Copa America Centenario, Messi called the federation "a disaster" after a flight delay.
Del Castillo said all of the national team players echoed Messi's feelings.
"The criticism hurts Sergio. The players are coming from the season in Europe, they are giving up their vacation, they are not being paid because the AFA is not paying them and their travel arrangements have not been done properly," he said. "They had to leave at 2 a.m. after waiting three to four hours in an airport."
Aguero's father also criticised Martino's decision-making in the final versus Chile.
"Sergio can play with [Gonzalo] Higuain," he said. "Barcelona has an attack with Neymar, [Luis] Suarez and Messi. You have to play that way, especially in a final, you have to come out to win it.
"We gave away 70 minutes to Chile and we played with three players injured," he said. "Everyone knows that. There was too much speculation in the final."
Regarding Aguero's planned return to Argentina with Independiente when his current contract with Manchester City expires, Del Castillo said that there is still too much time to speculate.
"Independiente have great players, we shall have to wait to see which foreign players they bring in but we are confident [they will put together a winning team]," he said. "The return of Sergio depends upon many things, but there are still three years to go, there is a long way still to go."
Aguero became the youngest player in the history of the Argentine top flight when he made his Independiente debut in 2003 at just 15.