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Lionel Messi retires from international football

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Argentine calls it quits after Cope America final loss

Argentina star Lionel Messi has called time on his international career after losing his 3rd final in 3 years against Chile on penalties.

After 120 minutes of goalless action, the Copa America final went to penalites, where Messi himself blazed his penalty over the bar, the crucial penalty that meant the team lost 4-2 in the shootout.

“It’s tough, it’s not the time for analysis,” he said. “In the dressing room I thought that this is the end for me with the national team, it’s not for me. That’s the way I feel right now, it’s a huge sadness once again and I missed the penalty that was so important.

“I tried so hard to be [a] champion with Argentina. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do it. I think it’s best for everyone, for me and for many people who want it. The choice for me is over, it is a decision. I tried many times [to be a champion] but did not.”

It’s Messi’s 3rd final loss in 3 years for his national team, and his 4th loss out of a total of 4 finals, at the 2014 World Cup against Germany and at three Copa Américas, in 2007, 2015 and now 2016.This defeat continues the nation’s 23 year trophyless run.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said: “The burden of the consecutive games [lost] has been accumulating these last two years. He feels like you would expect a player to feel after playing and losing a final.”

 

By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10

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