Lionel Messi dropped a bombshell in the wake of Argentina’s Copa America Centenario defeat to Chile when he announced his international retirement.
The 29-year-old missed a spot kick in the penalty shoot out as Argentina fell to Chile at the final hurdle for the second successive tournament.
Afterwards, a clearly distraught Messi told the media that his time with the national team has come to an end.
For me the national team is over. It’s not for me after four finals. The decision is made, I believe.
He went on to state that one of the factors behind his decision was a fourth lose in a major final.
It’s four finals, it’s not for me. Unfortunately we tried, I tried, but that’s it. It’s for the good of everyone.
We were not satisfied with making the final and not winning it. I’ve tried a lot to be champion with Argentina. It didn’t happen, I couldn’t do it.
To date, Messi has won 112 caps for Argentina and became their all time record scorer on 55 goals when he hammered home a free kick against the United States in the Copa America semi final.
Another veteran, Javier Mascherano, has also reportedly to decide to end his international career following the defeat.