Published: Tue, June 28, 2016
Sport | By Scott Davis

Lionel Messi Retires After Copa America Loss

Lionel Messi Retires After Copa America Loss

Argentina’s Men’s national team suffered a tough defeat at the hands of Chile during the Copa America Finals, losing 4-2 on penalty kicks on Sunday night. The Argentines, who online soccer odds favored before the game, are still looking for their first major trophy since 1993.

Things might get worse for Argentina before they get better because the team is in danger of losing their best player. After the match, Lionel Messi, who became the top scorer in Argentina’s history during the tournament, told reporters that he is going to retire from international competition.

The news came as a shock to most soccer fans because Messi, at 29-years-old, is considered one of the best, if not the best player in the world right now. At 29, he also still has a lot of time left to win a major tournament for his country.

Before the tournament began, Messi had complained about the Argentine Football Association for not being able to organize transportation for the team. Messi had also been criticized by many in the federation and by former Argentina great Diego Maradona, for not being able to win a championship for his country.

Before Sunday’s final, Maradona said the team better win the tournament or not bother to show their faces at home.

To make matters worse, Messi, who has done as much as could possibly be asked of him for the national team, missed a penalty kick that could have helped Argentina win the finals. After missing the kick, Messi was in tears as his teammates tried to console him. Shortly after, he announced his retirement from international tournaments.

Since the announcement to retire was made shortly after he missed an important penalty, many believe it was a knee jerk reaction to missing the penalty kick. The fact that other great players have retired from international play but eventually had a change of heart, also gives some fans hope that Messi might return.

Since Messi is only 29, he will still be in his prime during the 2018 World Cup, and 32 by the time the next Copa America comes around. Unless Argentina discovers another talent as good as Messi before the World Cup starts, they will need him in uniform if they hope to win the World Cup.

Despite the criticisms that Messi has endured throughout his career, most of which were about his performance when he is playing for Barcelona compared to his performance on the national team, he has done a lot for the Argentine national team and hasn’t received the credit he deserves.

Messi led Argentina to the finals of the 2014 World Cup, before losing to Germany. He has also led the team to the Copa America finals three times in the past four tournaments. While they have been unable to win any trophies, they have been consistently good during his time on the national team.

Another thing critics fail to address when it comes to Messi is the fact that some of the teams he has played on haven’t been as talented as some of the past Argentine teams. Messi never complained about the talent, instead opting to do all he can to help his team win.

Soccer fans all over the world are hoping that Messi will eventually change his mind and come out of retirement. If he doesn’t, he will still be one of the greatest players to ever play for Argentina.

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