“For me, the national team is over, I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.”
Lionel Messi, 29, has retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.
Messi has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish side Barcelona. But his only major international honour is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games. As well as losing two Copa America finals on penalties to Chile, Messi was in the Argentina side beaten 1-0 by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. The forward, who was been awarded the Ballon d’Or five times, was also on the losing side against Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final.
“It’s been four finals, I tried,” added Messi, who made his debut for Argentina in 2005 and has played 113 times for his country.
“It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.”
Many even think that this decision from Messi was because of the pressure from the Argentinean legends. Before Sunday’s match, Argentina football legend Diego Maradona said that the team should not bother coming home if they lose.
In domestic football Lionel has always delivered his best and won many major trophies with Barcelona. He plays football for months and months, has to give his best shot everytime and when there is some time left to relax, he is called for international duties. I am sure this is sometimes tiring and frustrating.
“I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, then for everyone.
“I think there’s a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.”
Argentina fans may think that they lost because of Lionel, but for the footballing world Messi was and will always be a legend. Hope the little genius changes his mind and give us one more world cup.
“It’s very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.”
(Image source= bbc.com)