Lionel Messi has retired from international football
Lionel Messi retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.
“It’s not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion,” the 29-year-old forward said after defeat by Chile at the Copa America.
Argentina were beaten 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup final by Germany before two Copa America final defeats by Chile on penalties. Messi was also on the losing side against Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final.
“It’s been four finals, I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over,” he added.
“I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, and then for everyone. I think there’s a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.
“It’s very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.”
Sergio Aguero described the mood in the Argentina dressing room as “the worst I’ve ever been in”, and was quoted by South American media as saying: “There are several players who are evaluating not continuing with the national team.”
The Manchester City striker added: “It is the worst defeat ever, worse than the two other finals. So the thinking is it might be time to make room for other players.”
According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain are also set to retire, while ESPN Deportes reported Angel di Maria, Lucas Biglia, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Ever Banega could follow suit.
After Sunday’s match finished 0-0 in 120 minutes, Chile won 4-2 on penalties.
Lionel Messi’s miss was Argentina’s first attempt in the shootout and it ballooned over the bar after Romero had denied Chile’s Arturo Vidal.
When u are one of the best in the world you shouldn’t leave your nation when they need you the most. Argentina had one of the best squad in the whole world, Reaching 4 finals is a big thing already. Lionel Messi is acting like a pure glory hunter, You should play for your nation till you can ! Argentina will be doomed after all the big names leaving.