Lionel Messi, who retired from international football on Monday said that he would continue to play club soccer at Barcelona. Argentina were beaten 4-2 by Chile on penalties in the final of the Copa America, the fourth time he has lost a final with the national side.
The 29-year-old was making his 112th appearance for Argentina since making his debut in 2005. “For me the national team is over,” the crestfallen 29-year-old told reporters.
“I’ve done all I can, I’ve been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion.
“It’s a hard moment for me and the team, and it’s difficult to say, but it’s over with the Argentina team.”
Messi’s dramatic announcement followed Argentina’s third loss in a major final since 2014.
They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the World Cup in 2014 and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the final of the 2015 Copa America.
Messi also tasted defeat with Argentina in the final of the 2007 Copa America.
Messi’s bombshell decision comes after a gruelling season which was disrupted by injury last year.
He recovered to help Barcelona win the Spanish title once more and was relishing the prospect of leading Argentina to glory in the Copa America Centenario.