-Dev Ankur Wadhawan
Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from international football after Argentina’s loss to Chile in Copa America Cup finals. Messi announced the decision after failing to convert penalty shootout.
Argentina has been third time unsuccessful at the Copa America Cup. Argentina’s loss to Chile happened in penalty shootout. Both sides had failed to score earlier during the match. Messi has scored a total of five times at this year’s Copa America Cup. He is now the highest goal scorer for his country, going past the earlier record set for Argentina by Gabriel Batistuta.
Messi was in a state of shock after the match and was being consoled by players not just from his own team but from the Opposition as well.
Messi was there when Germany had beaten Argentina 1 – 0 in the 2014 World Cup Final as well and was also on the losing side in the 2007 Copa America Cup final against Brazil. Messi has represented Argentina a total of 113 teams since his debut in 2005. He has been awarded the Balloon d’Or five times.
Whether this is actually the end of road for someone considered as the second best Argentine player is something only time can tell. After Diego Maradona, its believed that Messi clearly was the next best footballer to have come out of Argentina. His style is considered more textbook.
Many have been taken aback by Messi’s announcement declaring his retirement, as at 29, he is still considered quite young. While playing for Spanish side, Barcelona, Messi had achieved eight La Liga titles and four Champion Leagues. But his only major international honour is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games.
Some analysts believe that Messi may have gotten too emotional and could have spoken in the heat of the moment. Some also believe perhaps the weight of doing bulk of work for Argentina seemingly got to Lionel Messi.