Lionel Messi's Argentina return 'will happen' - AFA president

Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has no doubt that Lionel Messi will return to play for Argentina, but coach Lionel Scaloni has said he won't call the Barcelona star up to his latest squad.

Messi has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team after Argentina were knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 by champions France but has not addressed his future.

He will be missing for the international friendlies in Saudi Arabia against Iraq on Oct. 12 and Brazil on Oct. 16.

"I have no doubts that he will return to play [with the national team]," Tapia told TyC Sports. "We have to let him be and give him the time he needs. We have to continue the way we are.

"I'm completely calm, knowing that he, more than anyone, loves the national team jersey. I don't put a time to his return. We have to let things flow and it will happen when it has to happen. We cannot be hasty."

Messi, 31, has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since making his debut with Argentina in August 2005.

Despite competing in four World Cups and four Copa Americas, Messi has not won a major trophy with Argentina, and Tapia said he faced too much pressure heading into the World Cup earlier this year.

"We made him responsible to be world champion, but football is a team sport and is difficult," Tapia said. "He took charge in situations where players shouldn't. We just have to continue as we are."

Scaloni will name his squad for the friendlies this week, with Manchester City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi and Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria reportedly likely to return. Messi, though, will miss out.

"I spoke with him [Messi] and we continue to think it's the best that he doesn't come, he won't be called," Scaloni told Fox Sports at FIFA's The Best gala on Monday.

"We are in a different stage and these group of young players have to keep wearing the Argentina shirt to see what they can do, that's the most important thing."

Otamendi and Di Maria, regular starters at the World Cup, were left out of Scaloni's first squad, missing the 3-0 win over Guatemala and the goalless draw against Colombia earlier this month.