Fans around the world have been shocked by the news that Lionel Messi said he will be quitting international football.
Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa Centenario Final on Sunday. It was the third final in three years that the Barcelona star has not won. And he says he will not be back for more.
CCTV America’s Joel Richards has this report from Buenos Aires.
Messi to quit international football following Argentina’s lossFans around the world have been shocked by the news that Lionel Messi said he will be quitting international football.
After the disappointment of losing the World Cup final in 2014, and the Copa America final just last year, Argentina held out hope that the third final in three years would end with a trophy- but it wasn’t to be. The Albiceleste lost to Chile on penalties, even Leo Messi missing in the shootout.
“I was telling my teammates just now, I’m thinking a lot but for me the (national) squad is over. That is it. I fought hard. I tried. This is the fourth final I couldn’t win. I did everything I could. It hurts me more than anyone but I think it’s clear to see it’s not for me. I wanted the title with the squad more than any other title, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be,” Messi said.
While Messi has won 26 trophies with his club Barcelona in Spain, including four Champions League, and is the country’s all-time top scorer, he has now lost four finals with Argentina’s national team.
Reaction to the news of Messi’s retirement has been nothing short of shock in Argentina. On social networks the hashtag ‘Lio don’t leave’ has started up and the hope is that he will reverse his decision.
Even being named World’s best player five times has not stopped Messi from being compared to another Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, who is idolized for winning the 1986 World Cup, in which two famous goals defeated England, just four years after the Malvinas or Falklands war.
Messi had hinted at his frustration with the Argentina federation during the competition. Now supporters around the world will hope the decision not to play for Argentina is not final.