Lionel Messi, Argentina’s leading striker, on Monday announced his retirement from international soccer after losing the Copa America final to Chile. This is the fourth time he has lost a final with the national side.
Messi told the Argentine network TyC Sports that he is quitting national soccer team. “It’s tough, it’s not the time for analysis,” he was quoted as saying on the Argentine national team’s Twitter feed. “In the dressing room I thought that the national team was over, it’s not for me.”
Lionel Messi missed from the spot in the shootout, cutting a dejected figure after the result was sealed and Argentina’s trophy drought had been extended to 23 years.
Chile upset Argentina with a penalty shootout victory in the MetLife Stadium. Chile earned themselves bragging rights as South America’s dominant team as they beat heavyweights Argentina 4-2 on penalties for a second straight year.
Both teams were locked goal-less in a rather drab 90 minutes of regulation time in which referee Heber Roberto Lopes hogged the limelight with his overzealous officiating.
The Brazilian referee showed an unfortunate tendency to mete out harsh decisions at the drop of a hat which saw both teams reduced to 10 men in the first half.
The Centenary Copa America was played in the United States for the first time this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Copa America in 1916.