Barcelona star Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from international football after Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the Copa America final on Monday.
Messi missed a spot-kick as Argentina lost their third straight final, a 0-0 draw in 120 minutes followed by a 4-2 defeat on penalties, prompting the forward to admit he could do no more in trying to win a major trophy with his country.
“It’s difficult, it’s a hard time for any analysis. In the dressing room, I thought it was over for me in the national team,” he said after the game.
“The national team is over for me. It’s what I feel now. It’s a great sadness that [losing a final] has happened again.
“Missing the penalty was very significant to me. It’s for the good of everyone [that I retire].
“We’re not satisfied with reaching the final and not winning it. I tried so much to be a champion with Argentina, but I couldn’t do it.”
The 29-year-old ends his Albiceleste career after 11 years, 113 caps, 51 goals and runners-up medals in the 2014 World Cup and consecutive Copa Americas, a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing his only triumph in that time.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero added it was “the worst” he had seen Messi in the Argentina dressing room, while goalkeeper Sergio Romero confirmed the decision taken by No 10.