Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi has retired from his national team after a fourth final loss in his career, again against Chile missing his penalty kick in the Copa America shootout loss.
“It’s been four finals, I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over,” Messi told reporters after Chile won 4-2 on penalties.
AHORA: Messi: “Se terminó para mí la Selección” https://t.co/Nws9kiScoV— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) June 27, 2016
It's not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion.
“It’s not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion,” the emotional 29-year-old said.
Messi’s statement got a sharp response from his teammate, Argentinian goalkeeper and captain Sergio Romero who did not buy into Messi’s retirement declaration.
“I think Leo (Messi) was speaking in the heat of the moment because we lost a perfect opportunity,” he said at a press conference after the game hoping to get him back into the team.
Argentina have already suffered two Copa America final defeats by Chile on penalties. Messi has been on the losing side of a final for a fourth time since his debut in 2005 as his team lost in the 2007 Copa America, 2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America final.
Messi’s only international honour is at the 2008 Olympics where they won gold but with Barcelona, has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.