Saturday 10 December 2016

Twitter goes into meltdown after Lionel Messi announces his international retirement at 29

Mark Critchley

Published 27/06/2016 | 09:20

Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi appears to have retired from international football at the age of 29 and nobody can quite believe it.

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The Argentina forward suffered fresh heartbreak while representing his country on Sunday night with a penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile in the Copa America final.

Messi himself missed a spot-kick, blazing high over the bar in the shoot-out which saw Chile win 4-2 after a 120 goalless minutes of regulation play.

The Barcelona forward, regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all-time, was visibly upset by Argentina’s third major tournament final defeat in three years and announced his retirement to journalists after the game.

"For me the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion,” he said. "I don't think I will (return). I made up my mind. I did everything possible to win and it's done.”

Here's how Twitter reacted to the news:












Messi captained his side to the 2014 World Cup final, which ended in a 1-0 extra-time defeat to Germany, and also lost the 2015 Copa America final to Chile.

At 29-years-old, he was expected to at least compete at the next World Cup – to be held by Russia in 2018.

However, questions may now be asked regarding Messi's standing in the pantheon of football’s greatest players.

Pele and Diego Maradona, the two other players widely regarded as the greatest of all time, both won the World Cup with their Brazil and Argentina respectively.

Independent News Service

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