Leo Messi shocked his fans when he announced retirement following a heartbreaking defeat in Copa Amrica final. Argentinian fans were already gloomy due to their teams unexpected loss at the hands of Chileans when a heartbroken Messi announced his departure from international football.
The 29-year-old superstar broke down in tears as the crowd gasped when he missed the penalty kick shootouts. Messi was seen sticking his face in his shirt as tears rolled down his cheeks. After he received his runner up medal along with his team members, Messi was quick to take it off and hold in his hand as he choked up on tears.
After the ceremony, Messi looked dejected as he tried to answer the questions that reporters bombarded him with. It was at that time that an emotional Messi proclaimed, The national team is over for me. Thats four finals (lost), its not for me. Its a made decision, I think. Later on Argentinas social media account also quoted Messi on Twitter, It is difficult, the time is hard for any analysis. In the dressing room I thought the national team was over for me, it is not for me.”
Even after recovering from injury, Messi gave a stellar performance at this years Copa Amrica. From scoring a hat-trick against Panama to making history by becoming Argentina’s top goal scorer ever. His brilliant free kick helped Argentina sail past United States into the final against Chile. All in all, Messi led his team to the final of this years Copa by clenching one victory after another.
Currently, Argentina is ranked at the top of FIFAs rankings but the team has failed to make its mark in all major finals in the last three years. For Argentina, Copa Amrica defeat marks the loss of third major title in a row. In 2014, Argentina lost the world cup title to Germany, then came last years Copa America defeat at the hands of Chile followed by this years defeat. In all three of these finals, all eyes were on Messi but neither him nor anyone else from the Argentinian squad scored a single goal.
Messi had been dealing with a lot of pressure as he carried the weight of the entire Argentinian team on his shoulders. He blamed himself after losing to Germany in the World Cup and now he is blaming himself again for not being able to win any major final for his country. Considering the pressure he had been dealing with it does not come as a surprise that he has taken such a radical decision while he still has a lot of time to prove his mantle as a captain. The primary reason behind his decision is his belief that he has not been able to lead his team to the best of his ability.
Messi has come a long way and has what it takes to break many more records and give jaw-dropping performances while playing for Argentina. For the game, it would be an irreparable loss if the beloved footballer leaves international football when he is only 29 years of age and still has a lot of opportunities to chase the coveted trophy for Argentina.
Football fans hope that the most successful footballer of their time changes his mind and keeps playing for Argentina even after the heartbreaking loss at the MetLife stadium in New Jersey.