Lionel Messi retires from international football

Lionel Messi says Argentina career is over after losing yet another final with his international team

No matter what team you support, there is no denying Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players to ever slip into a pair of boots. Whether it is his exploits with FC Barcelona or with Argentina, the little magician always inspires wonder on the pitch. His elevated status makes hearing that he’s retired from international football came as a shock to many.

At just 29 years old he has said his international career is over after firing a penalty over the bar in Argentina’s Cope America final defeat against Chile. This is Messi’s second consecutive loss to Chile on penalties and it appears to have finally broken his spirit.

The revelation came after Messi and Argentina blitzed their way through the tournament, defeating the United States and Venezuela in the knockout rounds. Even with Chile rampaging through their group and beating Mexico by seven goals, Messi and Argentina were the tournament favorite.

This article for the Guardian, as well as comments made by the player, show that Messi looks to have retired from international football.

Following the defeat to Chile, Messi said this –

“It’s tough, it’s not the time for analysis. 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 [a] champion with Argentina. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do it. I think it’s best for everyone, for me and for many people who want it. The choice for me is over, it is a decision. I tried many times [to be a champion] but did not.”

Those comments almost 100% show that, for now, Lionel Messi has decided to call his Argentina career quits. Argentina have gone 23 years without a trophy, and now Messi has lost in four international finals, three Copa Americas and most notably the World Cup in 2014 against Germany.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero spoke about Messi’s comments saying “I think Leo spoke in the heat of the moment because we missed that great chance,” which is a valid point that could well be the case. It looks like he’s called it quits on international football, but for someone still young like it seems highly likely that he can and will change his mind.