Lionel Messi has strongly suggested that he will retire from international football after Argentina lost their third major final in as many years on Sunday.
Argentina were up against Chile in the Copa America Centenario in a repeat of last year's final. And in eerily similar circumstances, a stalemate saw the game go to a penalty shootout. Alexis Sanchez and co. eventually won 4-2 in the shootout.
It leaves Messi, 29, still waiting for his first major honour with the national team. Having lost four finals (Three Copa Americas, one World Cup) during his time, it appears the heartache may be too much to bear.
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"For me, the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion," said the 29-year-old.
"It's been four finals, it's not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over."
Messi has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Barcelona but Argentina fans have always been critical of his failure to translate his domestic form onto the international stage.
Having said that, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner recently became the country's all-time top goalscorer so his name will certainly go down in the history books regardless. But the tension between Messi and his homeland appears to have reached a breaking point.
Befitting of a night in which nothing went well for Tata Martino's side, Messi was the first to miss one of Argentina's penalties. Having seen Arturo Vidal miss the opening strike for Chile, he had the opportunity to give Argentina an early advantage but completely miscued his strike.
However, Messi's comments, as you may notice, are far from definitive and social media is already awash with the suggestion that he will still play for Argentina in the next World Cup, scheduled to be hosted in Russia in 2018.
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