LIONEL MESSI has retired from international football after missing a penalty as Argentina lost a shoot-out to Chile in the Copa America final
The Barcelona forward has decided to quit without winning a major trophy with his country – having been to four major finals.
Following the defeat at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Messi said he was calling it a day.
“I think it’s best for everyone, for me and for many people who want it,” Argentinian TV network TyC Sports. “The choice for me is over, it is a decision. I tried many times (to be champion) but did not.”
Messi had become Argentina’s all-time top scorer with 55 goals earlier in the tournament but final heartache was followed by his post-match announcement.
He added: “There are four finals, not for me, unfortunately, it was what I wanted. More than ever I wanted to win at least this cup but (it) could not be.
“It’s very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.
“I tried many times to get a title and failed.”
Messi and Lucas Biglia missed penalties for Argentina in the shoot-out to hand Chile their second Copa America title in a special tournament which was played to celebrate the competition’s centenary.
Messi blasted high and wide and Claudio Bravo saved Biglia’s kick leaving Francisco Silva to fire home the winning penalty and give Chile a second straight title.