Gabriel Batistuta

Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta has discarded the possibility of making an international comeback. "My goodbye to the national team is forever and it makes me want to cry when I say it, because it represented a great deal in my sporting life," he told the Mexican media in a video conference.

"I gave it my all and I don't want to be picked just because of my past," said Batistuta, who is his country's leading goalscorer ahead of Diego Maradona with 56 goals in 78 outings.

"The national team's project is towards the 2006 World Cup and I don't have any chance of getting there," said the 33-year-old Inter Milan striker. Batistuta said early last year that he would retire from international football at the end of the 2002 World Cup but Argentine's first-round exit led to speculation he might re-think his decision.