Advertisement

Argentina falls; Messi retires

EAST RUTHERFORD —Lionel Messi sensationally announced his retirement from international football here Sunday after Argentina crashed to an upset defeat against Chile in the final of the Copa America.

The heartbroken Barcelona superstar was distraught after missing a spot-kick as Chile snatched victory in a penalty shoot-out -- Messi’s fourth straight defeat in a major final while representing Argentina.

“For me the national team is over,” the crestfallen 29-year-old told reporters.

“I’ve done all I can, I’ve been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion.

Lionel Messi of Argentina looks dejected against Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. AFP
“It’s a hard moment for me and the team, and it’s difficult to say, but it’s over with the Argentina team.”

Messi’s dramatic announcement followed Argentina’s third loss in a major final since 2014.

They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the World Cup in 2014 and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the final of the 2015 Copa America.

Messi also tasted defeat with Argentina in the final of the 2007 Copa America.

Despite a glittering career that has seen him be named FIFA World Player of the Year on no fewer than five occasions, Messi has faced persistent sniping from critics in Argentina.

Yet he received support on Sunday from Chile’s victorious Argentine coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, who maintained that Messi deserves to be regarded as the best ever.

“As well as an admiration for Messi, I’m driven very much by his numbers,” Pizzi said of Messi’s record-breaking career.

“I know what it means to value certain numbers and Messi’s numbers are unmatched, and I don’t think they will ever be matched because it’s impossible for a player to find the things that Messi finds.”

But while universally regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, he has regularly been targeted for his inability to land a major title in the colors of Argentina.

Messi’s failure to match the achievements of Diego Maradona, who single-handedly carried the team to victory in the 1986 World Cup, has often been held against him. 

Topics: Copa America Centenario Championship , FIFA World Player , Lionel Messi
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementSpeaker GMA
Reopening: PH Economy on The Mend
Advertisement
Reopening: PH Economy on The Mend