Lionel Messi: Argentina forward retires from international football pic.twitter.com/23QRsdJCLP
— BlameFootball (@blameFootball) June 27, 2016
Argentina forward Lionel Messi has shockingly announced his retirement from international football following his side’s defeat to Chile in the 2016 Copa America final.
The match was still level at 0-0 after 120 minutes of open football, taking the game to penalties. In the shootout, Messi was one of the Argentine players to miss his spot kick, and Chile eventually managed to win the final 4-2 on penalties.
This was the fourth successive international tournament final which the Barcelona superstar ended on the losing side – his previous final losses coming in the 2007 Copa America against Brazil, the 2014 World Cup against Germany, and in the 2015 Copa America against Chile.
Losing four international finals seems to have taken its toll on arguably the best player in the world, who now thinks winning a major trophy for his current is not meant to be.
Following the loss in Sunday’s final, the 29-year-old said: “For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion. “It’s been four finals, it’s not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.”
A gigantic loss for Argentina, and a sad day for international football, to see this gem of a player retire at the age of 29.