Lionel Messi quits Argentina team after Chile defeat


Source: Al Jazeera

Lionel Messi, the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, has announced his retirement from international football after Argentina lost the second Copa America title to Chile in two years.

“For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion,” the 29-year-old Barcelona superstar told reporters on Sunday after his fourth defeat in a major final with Argentina.

Chile beat Argentina in the final for the second straight year, 4-2 in the penalty shootout following a 0-0 tie that ended an expanded 16-nation edition in the US to mark the championship’s 100th anniversary.

Messi and Lucas Biglia missed their shots for Argentina.

It was the third consecutive defeat at a major international tournament for Messi and his teammates after losing out to

Messi, winner of four Champions League titles and eight Spanish La Liga crowns with Barcelona, was also a member of Argentina’s Copa America team that lost to Brazil in 2007.

Al Jazeera’s Daniel Schweimler, reporting from the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, after the final, said that “great despondency was descending on Argentina” following the three consecutive final losses.

“There is this great generation of players – including Messi, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, so many wonderful players – yet they are unable to win a major tournament.

“They are reaching the finals but they just don’t seem to have what it takes to be able to get their hands on those trophies. I think there’s a great deal of soul-searching, a great deal of questioning now about to take place here in Argentina.”

Argentina have not won a major senior title since the 1993 Copa America.

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