Twitter goes into meltdown after Lionel Messi announces his international retirement at 29
Lionel Messi appears to have retired from international football at the age of 29 and nobody can quite believe it.
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 has retired from international football. Hope the little genius changes his mind and gives us one more World Cup.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 27, 2016
Breaking: Lionel Messi has resigned from the shadow cabinet.— Ian Moore (@ianmodmoore) June 27, 2016
I can't cope with the sight of Messi crying. pic.twitter.com/qVSJVBKZwg— Jack (@StockdaIe) June 27, 2016
People can't compare Messi & Maradona.— MD (@Memz_Dogi) June 27, 2016
Maradona delivered on the international stage & won the league at multiple clubs with poor players
Messi and Argentina lose their 3rd straight final.. pic.twitter.com/4p7aPTGhQd— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) June 27, 2016
Dont know why Messi is retiring just because he lost 4 finals. Klopp lost his 5th final in a row and still smiled like a child at Disneyland— Hayley B (@Hayles_101) June 27, 2016
Imagine if Messi was Portugese, fam he would retire after seeing the lineup— ∆ (@TheAntonioCross) June 27, 2016
Fans reject Messi’s international retirement; demand a referendum on “Mexit”— Binary Baba™ v3.1 (@0__1) June 27, 2016
Messi's probably going to go play a season of baseball, save the Looney Tunes from aliens and then come out of retirement for the 2018 WC.— Juan Herrera (@JuanKnowsSports) June 27, 2016
Record of Messi in football— Sport NP1 (@SportNP1) June 27, 2016
5 Ballon d'or
3 Golden Boot pic.twitter.com/EFKizh135f
Messi quitting at 29 when he has so much more potential pic.twitter.com/zX8LWqKbQF— (@artdecogaga) June 27, 2016
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