Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief

Soccer

Messi ends short hiatus

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Lionel Messi reconsidered his decision to quit international soccer and will continue playing for Argentina's national team.

Messi said Friday that he is returning despite "a lot of problems" involving the country's federation, which is mired in financial chaos and under FIFA intervention.

"There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved in Argentine football, but I prefer to help from within and not criticize from the outside," Messi said. "I don't want to cause any harm, I've always tried to do the exact opposite and help out in whatever way possible."

Messi said he was done with the national team after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final in June, when the Barcelona playmaker missed a penalty kick in the decisive shootout.

"A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great," Messi said in a statement released by his managers.

Messi, 29, is considered one of the all-time greats, but his lone trophy for Argentina came with the under-23 team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

ET CETERA

NBA: LeBron James signed a new deal with the Cavaliers a day after agreeing to it, making him the league's highest-paid player for the first time. His $100 million, three-year deal with the champions pays $31 million next season, $33 million in 2017-18 and $36 million in 2018-19.

Hockey: Henrik Zetterberg is Sweden's captain for the World Cup this fall. The 36-year-old Red Wings forward was also captain for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Tennis: Defending champion Serena Williams got one of seven wilds cards for the Western & Southern Open, which starts Sunday in Mason, Ohio. She was eliminated from the Olympics on Tuesday.

Times wires

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