There were tears aplenty in the aftermath of last night’s Copa America final, with Argentina eventually losing out on penalties to Chile on the back of 120 goalless minutes in New Jersey.
Lionel Messi missed his spot-kick during the shoot-out, sending his effort sailing over the crossbar as Chile scrabbled their way to a 4-2 win and thus back-to-back Copa America titles…
Speaking to reporters after the game, a tearful Lionel Messi insisted that, after losing his fourth major final as an Argentina player, his “participation with the Seleccion” is now over.
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.
Messi wasn’t the only one to bow out either, with a raft of other big names reported to have called time on their international careers in response to failing to arrest Argentina’s 23-year trophy-less streak.
ESPN Argentina are claiming that Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Biglia, Gonzalo Higuain and possibly several more players are now poised to confirm their respective retirements in the coming days/weeks.
Ouch. Talk about opening the floodgates.