'I've done all I can': Messi retires from international soccer

By Kirstin Buick
27 June 2016

So much for ending his international career on a high note.

A photo posted by Leo Messi (@leomessi) on

The Argentinian football team has lost one of its star players -- Lionel Messi has announced he's retiring from international soccer after missing a penalty shootout, BBC Sport reports.

"For me, the national team is over," the star said after the South American side were defeated by Chile in the Copa America final.

"I've done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion."

Sunday's defeat at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, US was the fourth time Argentina has lost a major final in nine years.

“My thinking right now and thinking about it in the dressing room, I’m done playing with the national team,” he said solemnly, The Guardian reports.

Since his stellar career began in 2005, the 29-year-old forward has played 113 times for his country.

“I tried my hardest, it’s been four finals but I was not able to win. I tried everything possible. It’s hurts me more than anyone but it is evident that this is not for me.”

"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.

"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back."

While Messi's statement certainly indicted his decision is final, critics are skeptical he'll hang up his blue and white kit for good.

"Messi is not the kind of character to give up on a dream, however much pain falls at his feet and when a few more tears have been shed and the dust of the Copa disaster settles, a new reality may set in," USA Today sports reporter Martin Rogers writes.

"He will surely be back, not because soccer needs him and craves his presence at events like the 2018 World Cup. No, it will be because he will find he needs this."

Messi will still play for Spanish club Barcelona, with whom he's won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

The Argentine player beat out Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to win his fifth Ballon d'Or trophy in January 2016.


Sources: BBC Sport, The Guardian, The Telegraph

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