Lionel Messi has shocked the world of sport after announcing his retirement from international football after a penalty shootout defeat in the final of the Copa America.

The Argentina skipper missed a penalty in the shootout which Chile won 4-2, and made his decision hours after the loss.

The national team is over for me. I’ve made my decision. This is the 4th final. I’ve tried a lot. I most wanted to win with Argentina. Unfortunately I couldn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.
b’Messi had a good tournament, but missed a decisive spotkick. AFP’

Messi has appeared in three World Cups, the last of which ended in a final defeat to Germany in Brazil. He has also led Argentina to three Copa finals, none of which he has won.

It hurts not to be a champion. This is how I feel now. A big disappointment that this is happening again in a final. I missed a very important penalty. I’m done.

The Barcelona star has led Argentina to three Copa finals but ended up on the losing side on every occasion. One of the reasons cited for his sudden exit is a rift with the Argentina Football Association, especially after Messi said this…

I think it’s good for everyone. First for me, and then for everyone else. I believe there are a lot of people who want that.

Feature image source: Reuters