Lionel Messi retirement opens the door for West Ham star Manuel Lanzini

Lionel Messi Argentina

Lionel Messi's retirement from international football with Argentina shook world football and the reverberations reached as far as East London.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at ChileLionel Messi after Argentina's Copa America final defeat to Chile

Messi retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost in the Copa America final against Chile - their fourth major final defeat in nine years.

"For me, the national team is over," Messi told the world after that game.

"I've done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion."

The 29-year-old, widely regarded as the best player to ever have lived, as won everything in club football and has been awarded the Ballon d'Or five times in his career to date.

West Ham manager Slaven BilicWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic

Why Messi shockwave has reached East London

So just why would the ramifications of his shock announcement be felt as far away as East London and West Ham United?

Since the influential superstar's decision, speculation has been rife that other Argentina favourites such as Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Paris St Germain's Angel di Maria and Barcelona's Javier Mascherano could follow suit, as reported by the Sun.

That would leave the national team bereft of top players and in need of rebuilding with new, younger, hungry players.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini celebrates scoring their first goalWest Ham's Manuel Lanzini celebrates

Lanzini waits in the wings

One such player who fits that bill perfectly is the Hammers' Manuel Lanzini.

Lanzini was one of the surprise success stories of the Hammers' and indeed the Premier League season, taking to life in the English top flight like a duck to water.

Nicknamed the Jewel back in his native Argentina, Lanzini's success is perhaps only surprising given where he had been playing his football in recent years.

After starting his career at River Plate, where he was the latest diminutive Argentine to be labelled 'the new Lionel Messi', Lanzini had spent a couple of seasons playing in the footballing backwater that is the UAE Arabian Gulf League for Al Jazira.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini celebrates scoring their first goalWest Ham's Manuel Lanzini has been a big hit in the Premier League

'Little Jewel' took to Premier League like a duck to water

West Ham boss Bilic was quite open and honest when he signed Lanzini and admitted that while he had been tracking him for two years while manager of Besiktas, he had taken something of a gamble on the 23-year-old.

Six goals and many more assists quickly prompted West Ham to turn his loan move into a permanent one for around £8million.

And the former Argentina Under 20 star was recently selected to represent his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil later this summer.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at VenezuelaLamela will hope Lanzini joins in for a new era in trying to replace Messi

Better than Spurs' Lamela, international recognition awaits

Many Premier League fans are perplexed Lanzini has not received international recognition before now, particularly with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur's inconsistent Erik Lamela an Argentine regular with 22 caps.

Lanzini scored more Premier League goals in his first season than Lamela has managed in three.

But now his time may well come with a good chance he could well be the new poster boy for the senior national side in the wake of Messi and co's withdrawals.

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