A frustrated Lionel Messi declared that he is planning to retire from international football following Argentina’s loss to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final.
“The national team is over for me. That’s four finals [lost]; it’s not for me,” Messi told reporters after losing his third final in as many years. “The decision is made, I think.”
Sunday’s match finished without a goal and went to a penalty shootout, with Messi missing his spot kick on the way to a 4-2 defeat.
It was the second time in as many years that Chile beat Argentina on penalties in the Copa, which itself followed the Albiceleste’s loss to Germany in the World Cup final in 2014. Messi also was part of the Argentina side who lost to Brazil in the final in 2007.
Messi has been locked in a dispute with officials at the Argentine Football Association, taking his frustration to social media prior to the final, but his own performance in Sunday’s final also seemed to be weighing on him after the contest.
“I feel a great sadness right now that this is happening again,” he said. “I missed my penalty, which was super important. That’s it.”
Argentina’s next matches are in World Cup qualification ahead of the 2018 tournament in Russia. Gerardo Martino’s men sit third in the CONMEBOL pool after six matches.