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Copa America Fallout: Messi Retires from Argentina National Team

The unexpected miss of a goal by Lionel Messi in a crucial penalty kick in the Copa America final between Argentina and Chile has finally taken its toll — Embarrased Messi announced his retirement from international football within hours after the defeat. The miss led to Chile lifting the trophy, while Messi’s presence for the fourth time too proved vain with defeat for Argentina.

Upset Messi told reporters, "For me the national team is over. 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."

When a reporters asked him, "Will you reconsider your decision?", he curtly replied: "No. I don’t think I’ll return. I’ve decided. I gave my all. It’s 4 finals we lost."

The FIFA World Player of the Year is beset with sharp criticism from Argentina fans after the debacle, for his failure to match the Argentina jersey expectations which once decorated Diego Maradona, who led the team to victory in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona too joined the chorus against Messi after the debacle at Copa America 2016.

Messi, busy with his tax fraud charges in Spain, is shuttling between Europe and Argentina and his back injury is anoe of the reasons for his poor response in the final. Though Messi announced retirement from Argentina’s national team, he will continue to play for FC Barcelona in league matches.

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