Lionel Messi retires from international football following Argentina's penalty loss

Lionel Messi retires from international football following Argentina's penalty loss
Published: 2016 June 27 08:25:48 (7158 Views)
Lionel Messi has stunned the footballing world by announcing that he is to quit international football following Argentina's penalty shootout loss to Chile in the Copa America final.

The 29-year-old missed his spot-kick in the shootout as Argentina lost their third major final in three years, following last year's Copa America final and the 2014 World Cup final.

"It's tough, it's not the time for analysis," Messi 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 champion with Argentina. But it didn't happen. I couldn't do it."

"There are four finals, not for me, unfortunately, it was what I wanted. More than ever I wanted to win at least this cup but (it) could not be.

"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.

"I tried many times to get a title and failed."

Sergio Aguero, Messi's best friend on the team, said he had never seen the mood in the dressing room so low, while Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is hopeful that Messi may rethink his decision.



"I think Leo spoke in the heat of the moment because we missed that great chance," said Romero.

The Copa American final in New Jersey was the Barcelona star's 112th appearance for his country.

Messi scored five goals in the tournament, but blasted his penalty over the bar after the game finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.

He cut a dejected figure following the conclusion of the shootout, as as Argentina's trophy drought was extended to 23 years.

Following the game, Messi confirmed the news on Argentina's Twitter account.

He made his international debut against Hungary in August 2005 when he came on as a substitute, but was sent off less than a minute later for elbowing an opponent who pulled his shirt.

Despite winning everything there is to win in the club game with Barcelona, he has not won a major international honour, expect for a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Under-20 World Cup.

Sunday night's Copa America final loss was the third time he was finished as a runner-up in the tournament, following losses in the 2007 and 2015 finals.

The forward also suffered defeat in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, when Argentina lost to Germany. Messi won the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.




Source - Mirror

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