Jun. 28, 2016
Messi Retiring From International Career?
Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest soccer player in the world has just announced his international retirement with Argentina's national team after missing a penalty kick in the 2016 Copa America Final against reigning champions Chile, who Argentina played against in last year's Copa America Final, but lost from penalty kicks in a shootout. This year's Copa America was an exact repeat from last year. Usually, the Copa America is played every 4 years but this year was the centenary of the Copa America, which is why it was played back-to-back. The 2016 Final played in New Jersey was a repeat of the same two teams, the sudden death of penalty kicks, and Chile winning, two years in a row.
Messi, who recently turned 29 years old, has never won a title for his country team Argentina. The closest thing to a title he has won for his country is an Olympic Gold Medal from 2008 in Beijing. Messi has never missed a penalty kick in a shootout until last night. The greatest soccer player in the world missed a penalty kick. You could see the frustration and the pain in his eyes after missing the first shot for Argentina. Nobody could believe what they had just witnessed. Whether you were in the stands watching the game or watching it on TV, whether you were rooting for Argentina, Chile or neither, whether you were just watching because Messi was playing and only wanted Argentina to win because of Messi, you could hear the reactions of the crowds as everyone was in disbelief of what had happened. Messi grabbed his jersey, shaking it in anger as he walked back to his teammates, who tried to cheer him up, but Messi instantly separated himself from the team, trying to digest what had just happened. Chile would go on to win the penalty kick shootout 4-2 and win the 2016 Copa America Centenary, defeating Argentina back-to-back in the Copa America Final.
After the game, reporters were lined up outside Argentina's locker room as they were waiting for Messi and Messionly. Messi would come out of the locker room in a state of all different emotions, but wouldrespectively answer questions for the reporters in the professional manner that he always showed. Messi said “It's incredible the fact that we can't win it. It happened to us again and by penalty kicks. It's the third consecutive final. We tried and it wasn't for us. It is difficult in this moment to do any sort of analysis. In the locker room, I thought the national team is not for me. It's what I feel right now. It's a great sadness that it happened to me again. I missed a penalty kick that was very important. It's for the good of everybody. It wasn't enough just to get to the final and not win. I've tried very hard to be champion with Argentina. It hasn't happened. I am not able to do it.”
Messi will continue to play with his club in Barcelona, but it seems like he is done playing for Argentina. Messi fans and Argentina fans are hoping that Messi just said what he said in the heat of the moment, and that he will go back on what he said, and continue to play for Argentina. However, for now it is still uncertain.