Barcelona star Lionel Messi may never play for Argentina again after Sunday night’s Copa America final loss to Chile.
Argentina lost, 4-2, on penalties to Chile after a 0-0 draw in Metlife Stadium, and an emotional Messi said after the match that his career with the national team is over.
“My thinking right now and thinking about it in the locker room, I’m done playing with the national team,” Messi told a group of reporters, including ESPN’s Diego Monroig.
Asked he was retiring, Messi said, “I tried my hardest. It’s been four finals and I was not able to win. I tried everything possible; it hurts me more than anyone, but it is evident that this is not for me.
“I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team, but unfortunately it did not happen.”
Messi, who lost the 2014 World Cup final and three Copa America final games while playing for Argentina, was then asked if he would ever wear his country’s uniform again.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I’ve thought about it; like I said earlier, I tried everything possible to win. And that’s it, it’s four finals lost.”
Messi’s Argentina teammates were rocked by the news, with goalkeeper Sergio Romero saying that the No. 10 may have made a hasty decision.
“I think that Leo spoke in the heat of the moment, because a good opportunity passed us by,” Romero said.
“Lamentably, the most f—– up is Leo because of the penalty. It’s the worst I’ve seen him in the dressing room,” Sergio Aguero added.
The news comes off the back of Messi criticizing the Argentine soccer federation (AFA) ahead of the final and revealing in a press conference on Friday that he had a backlog of complaints with the AFA.