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.