Lionel Messi Announces Retirement From National Team After Copa America Loss
Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final for the second straight year, but in a shocking turn of events, it may be the end of Lionel Messi with his home nation.

Messi stunningly missed a crucial penalty that led to the 4-2 defeat in the shootout. After the match, he told reporters that he’s retiring from the national team.

Messi said, as translated by For The Win:
“It’s difficult. This time is hard. In the locker room, I thought it was over for me and the national team. The team is not for me.
“It’s what I feel now, a great sadness that this happened again, that I missed the penalty kick. It was very important. (Leaving the national team) is for the good of all. I’m not satisfied with reaching the final and not winning it.
“I tried hard to be a champion with Argentina. It didn’t happen. I couldn’t get it done.”
The Argentinean national team has never won a major tournament with Messi, but him calling it quits after an demoralizing loss is truly stunning. He’s 29 and is still at top form. While emotional announcements should often be taken with a grain of salt, Messi seemed defeated the moment that kick sailed into the stands.


Messi will be wary that Argentina fans will criticise him for walking away when the chips are down. They, along with the local press, have always gone with the narrative that Messi sees himself as a Spaniard and can therefore not commit himself wholly to Argentina's cause.

But no one who watched the aftermath of Sunday's final can accuse the Barcelona star of lacking passion for his home country.

As he did against Germany in the World Cup and Chile last year, the 29-year-old looked absolutely devastated by the bitter taste of defeat. For a man used to winning it seems this defeat was simply too much to take.


Taaza Vaartha

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