Argentina all-time goal scorer, Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from international football on Sunday following a 4-2 game loss to Chile during a penalty shootout in the Copa America final making it the fourth final he has lost with his national teammates.
The five times World Player of the Year and FC Barcelona superstar was in a shattered mood after missing Argentina’s opening penalty kick thus, handing over the victory to Chile.
“It’s tough, it’s not the time for analysis,” he said. “In the dressing room I thought that this is the end for me with the national team, it’s not for me.
“That’s the way I feel right now, it’s a huge sadness once again and I missed the penalty that was so important.
“I tried so hard to be a champion with Argentina. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do it.”
“For me, the national team is over,” the crestfallen 29-year-old told reporters.
“I’ve done all I can, I’ve been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion.
Lionel Messi has been in three Copa America finals in 2007, 2015 and 2016 and the 2014 World Cup final, and failed to score in all four matches.
Messi’s sudden decision came as a shock to his team mates, who hoped his decision can be reversed.
For Sergio Aguero who is Messi’s closest pal on the team, the mood in the dressing room has never been so low while goalkeeper Sergio Romero suggested that Messi might have a rethink as he made the decision on the spur of the moment.
“I think Leo spoke in the heat of the moment because we missed that great chance,” said Romero.
During a glittering career, Lionel Messi has won several trophies with his club Barcelona but can only boast of the Under-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics as his only titles with Argentina.