Messi quits international football after costly miss in penalty shootout sees Chile lift Copa America title


Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has retired from international football after his costly penalty miss ensured Chile was crowned new Champions of the Copa America.

He said, “For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion.”

The 29-year-old was making his 112th appearance for Argentina since making his debut in 2005.

After the match finished 0-0 in 90 minutes, Chile won 4-2 on penalties for their second consecutive Copa title.

Both the teams had missed out on their first attempt. But, it was Messi who missed the first chance for Argentina in the penalty shootout.

Messi, who’s had phenomenal career with Barcelona, has failed to win any major international competition with Argentina.

But many felt that Messi was being too harsh on himself as his teammate, Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half miss had a far greater impact on the outcome than his miss in the shootout.

Higuain, who entered the match on the back of a two-goal performance against the U.S. in last week’s semifinal and who scored 36 goals in 35 games for Italian club Napoli in 2015-16, was gifted a golden opportunity to give his team an early lead 21 minutes into the match. But he appeared to rush his shot, sending it wide of the left post.

(Inputs from ESPN and BBC Sports)