Calling it a “difficult moment”, Lionel Messi has decided to hang his boots after Argentina lost 4-2 to Chile on penalties in the Copa America finals. Messi, incidentally, missed his penalty costing Argentina dearly in the shootout. “I thought about it in the locker room and think national team career is over for me. This is not for me.”
“I tried my hardest. It’s been four finals and I was not able to win. I tried everything possible; it hurts me more than anyone, but it is evident that this is not for me,” the 29-year old said, “I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team, but unfortunately it did not happen.” Playing with Argentina, Messi has now lost three consecutive Copa America finals and the 2014 World Cup.
Messi distressed on losing to Chile in the Copa American final (Image source: NDTV)
Since 2005, when Messi began playing for Argentina , he has become the country’s highest scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances. His 55th goal was during this tournament, that too in style, with a brilliant free kick to enter the finals.
Goalkeeper Sergio Romero believes Messi’s announcement came “in the heat of the moment” as a Argentina lost a good opportunity to raise the Copa American trophy. “Lamentably, the most f—- up is Leo because of the penalty. It’s the worst I’ve seen him in the dressing room,” he added.
The news of his retirement means Messi will now only represent Barcelona.