Lionel Messi retires from international football

Football Legend Lionel Messi sensationally announced his retirement from international football on Sunday after Argentina loss against Chile in the final of the Copa America.

Messi retires from international football

The heartbroken Barcelona superstar Messi was distraught after missing a spot-kick as Chile snatched victory in a penalty shoot-out — Lionel Messi’s fourth straight defeat in a major final while representing Argentina.

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“For me the national team is over, I’ve done all I can, I’ve been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion, it’s a hard moment for me and the team, and it’s difficult to say, but it’s over with the Argentina team,” the crestfallen 29-year-old told reporters.

Messi, a five-time FIFA player of the year, winner of four Champions League titles and eight Spanish La Liga crowns with Barcelona, was crushed. Much of his nation had counted on him to bring home its first major title since 1993.

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Playing two days after his 29th birthday, Messi lost a final for the third year in a row and the fourth time overall with Argentina. A crowd of 82,076 filled MetLife Stadium the largest to see a soccer game in New Jersey and many wore his No. 10 jersey in Argentina’s blue and white and Barcelona’s navy and red.

Messi’s dramatic announcement followed Argentina’s third loss in a major final since 2014.

They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the World Cup in 2014 and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the final of the 2015 Copa America. Messi also tasted defeat with Argentina in the final of the 2007 Copa America.

Despite a glittering career that has seen him be named FIFA World Player of the Year on no fewer than five occasions, Messi has often faced baffling criticism from Argentina fans.

Maradona himself has often taken potshots at Messi, criticising him on the eve of the tournament for a perceived “lack of personality.”

“He’s a really good person, but he has no personality,” Maradona said in Paris shortly before the start of Euro 2016. “He lacks the character to be a leader.”

Although he was injured for his team’s opening group game against Chile, he came on as a substitute in a 5-0 hammering of Panama to score a hat-trick in 19 minutes.

He then equalled Argentina’s international goalscoring record of 54, held by Gabriel Batistuta, in the quarter-finals before setting a new mark with his 55th international goal in the semi-final win over the United States.

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