Confusion in Argentina as Messi hang boots

Confusion in Argentina as Messi hang boots

The heartbroken Barcelona superstar left the field in tears after missing a spot-kick in the shootout in the United States on Sunday – Messi’s fourth straight defeat in a major final with Argentina.


 

Lionel Messi’s tearful decision to quit the international team left Argentinian football in turmoil on Monday after a traumatic penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the Copa America final.

The heartbroken Barcelona superstar left the field in tears after missing a spot-kick in the shootout in the United States on Sunday – Messi’s fourth straight defeat in a major final with Argentina.

“For me the national team is over,” the 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.”

Manchester City star Sergio Aguero warned that other players could also quit the national side.

“We were all devastated in the dressing room, particularly Leo, I’d never seen him in such a state,” he said.

“It’s likely that Messi won’t be the only one to go into international retirement,” said Aguero. “Several players are wondering whether to continue. It’s our toughest defeat to take.”

Aguero did not say whether he would follow Messi in quitting but his name and that of Javier Mascherano were mentioned in media reports.

Fans in Argentina did not want to believe that their superstar was quitting.

“He will not leave – you will see,” said Ricardo Miranda, 47, a passerby in a rainy Buenos Aires on Monday morning.

“It is really unfair. Messi played well. It was the coach’s mistake to field injured players.”

Messi and the squad were expected back in Buenos Aires later on Monday.

Fans on social media called on the superstar to change his mind with hashtags such as “NotevayasLeo” – Don’t go Leo – and “Messiquedate” – Messi stay.

Messi’s dramatic announcement followed Argentina’s third loss in a major final in three years.

They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the 2015 Copa America final.

Messi also tasted defeat with Argentina in the final of the 2007 Copa America.

NNN.COM.NG is a portal where you can read latest Nigeria News from all Nigeria Newspapers such as such as Punch, Vangaurd, Daily Times, Thisday, Guardian, Nation, Leadership and more in one place. NNN aggregates Naija News and sort them according to their sources, category and relevance as a way of reducing the effort a news reader needs to put in to reading breaking news in Nigeria and across the world.