It’s the end of an era. With Argentina’s loss, this morning to the bitter South American team Chile Argentinian star Lionel Messi and the proclaimed greatest footballer in the history has announced his retirement from international football.
Messi, himself stated that he will quit from the international football to TYC sports "The national team is over for me. It's not for me after four finals. The decision is made, I believe."
This came as a shock to the football fan around the world. However, his teammate Sergio Romero stated that Messi had made the decision based on emotion and he will not retire from the international stage after all. Still, nothing has been made official yet.
Whether you support Chile, Argentina, Russia or even Germany, there was no one who didn’t feel emotional watching Messi cry his eyes out. Just when it mattered most Messi was unable to put the ball in the back of the net. The pressure and may be, the nostalgia of being in yet another Copa America Final against the same team got to him.
This was Argentina’s and Messi’s third consecutive year loss in the major competition final. Starting with 2014 World Cup final against Germany and 2015 and 2016 Copa America loss against Chile, it must have been a hard time.
Messi is now compared to Italian superstar Roberto Baggio. Not their capability but their inability to matter when they were needed the most.
Italy faced Brazil in the final of the 1994 World Cup. After 120 goalless minutes, the world cup went to its first ever penalties. We all remember how the star of the tournament set foot on the stage to bury the penalty. When he absolutely had to score there was great hopes riding on Baggio. Italy was the favorite to win and Baggio was probably the best player at that time. When he missed the penalty, boy oh boy was that shocking!
People are criticizing both of them for being indecisive but only they will know a pure pressure and peer pressure. Not to mention the fear of history repeating itself. And for Messi, it certainly did.
Although millions of fans were supportive of Messi, there are those who blamed him for his miss. Not to mention all the memes about him in Facebook labeled Miss Penalty.
Whether we support Barcelona or not, whether we support Argentina or not, everyone has bowed down to the prowess of this player. Competing with its arch-enemy Portuguese Christiano Ronaldo, Messi was able to beat him in many of the records that both of them competed to beat against. 5 times Fifa Ballon d’Or winner and three times European Golden shoes winner, he was able to mesmerize us with his unique play, unprecedented agility, and his unparalleled skill. Messi's net worth is estimated to be around $280 million which is $50 million more than Ronaldo's net worth while Messi's annual income is stated to be around a figure of $45 million.
Messi has dominated the world football taking his team Barcelona to victory several times. For his country, Messi has scored 71 goals in his 135 appearances. Similarly, he has scored a whopping 458 goals for his club Barcelona since his first appearance in 2004.
With his retirement news, the whole world was shocked. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s International football retirement after Sweden’s lost to Belgium in the group stage of Euro 2016, the world football is losing its aces. Lucky for us, Ronaldo has shown his interest to stay few years on the international platform.
Messi has won various awards, from individual awards to national ones. It would not be a stretch to say that he is the best on the planet. Despite all those achievements Messi was not able to win the World Cup. His 2010 World cup campaign ended up a failure but he came a long way in 2014. Germany definitely did win but Messi did win Golden Ball.
Previously, when asked if he wanted his fifth Ballon d’Or or the World Cup trophy, this is what he replied
"I would say one World Cup. It's the highest honor for a player,"
We would definitely love to see him taking his team to glory in the next world cup, won't we?
Messi had a great Copa America campaign this time around. With his hat trick against Panama and his involvement in the Argentinian team he came a long way and was the favorite to win.
Well, Messi has made his international retirement so until it is made absolutely official, we can do nothing but pray that this Argentinian maestro will continue to take his national team to a new height. We hope he did it in emotion and will take back his retirement. At least for now, Messi will continue to show his magic in his club in the following La Liga.