Barça's Messi announces retirement from international football

Lionel Messi didn't wait long before announcing his retirement for Argentina after a second Copa America final loss in succession.

The Albiceleste lost 4-2 on penalties to Chile - who defeated them by the same method last year - and Messi was one of the unfortunate players to miss in the shootout at the MetLife Stadium.

"I think now is the time for me to make a choice and I've finished [playing international football]," the 29-year-old said, "I tried many times to be a champion with Argentina.

"There have been four finals [that I've been a part of] and I couldn't win any of them - I did my best.

"It's hard to analyse [the result]. In the changing room I knew playing for Argentina was over for me."

The image of the boy from Rosario bowing his head in disappointment having missed his spot kick was difficult for many to take. No one could console him after Francisco Silva secured the title for the Roja.

Messi's bad luck in finals continued for Argentina, having lost three Copa America finals (2007, 2015, 2016) and the World Cup final in 2014. Sunday proved to be his third consecutive loss in a major international tournament final and ultimately was too much for him to carry on.

While Messi has won all possible titles with the Blaugrana, the only honours he won with the Albiceleste was the Under-20 World Cup in 2005 and the Olympic gold medal in Beijing, 2008.


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