Football: Lionel Messi retires from international game after Argentina's loss in Copa final

Lionel Messi has said he will retire from international soccer, after Argentina was beaten by Chile in the Copa America final.
Lionel Messi looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match against Chile.
Lionel Messi looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match against Chile.PHOTO: AFP

EAST RUTHERFORD (New Jersey) (AFP/REUTERS): Lionel Messi sensationally announced his retirement from international football here Sunday after Argentina crashed to an upset defeat against Chile in the final of the Copa America.

"For me the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion," the 29-year-old Barcelona superstar told reporters after his fourth defeat in a major final with Argentina.

"It's tough, it's not the time for analysis," he was quoted as saying on the Argentine national team's Twitter feed. "In the dressing room, I thought that the national team was over, it's not for me."

 
 

The announcement means the former World Player of the Year will leave the international scene without a major title to his name.

Chile earned themselves bragging rights as South America's dominant team as they beat heavyweights Argentina 4-2 on penalties for a second straight year.

Messi missed from the spot in the shootout, cutting a dejected figure after the result was sealed and Argentina's trophy drought had been extended to 23 years.