World's best footballer to retire after penalty miss

OFF TARGET: Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts after missing his shot in the Copa America final in New Jersey.
OFF TARGET: Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts after missing his shot in the Copa America final in New Jersey. Julio Cortez

A TEARFUL Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from international football after Argentina's loss in the Copa America final to Chile.

Messi missed the first spot kick in the shootout as Argentina went down 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 0-0 after extra-time.

It meant Argentina has not won a major trophy for 23 years and is the third time Messi has lost in a final of a major tournament after losing to Germany in the World Cup in 2014, being defeated by Chile in last year's Copa America and today's game.

The nature of the defeat reduced the five-time FIFA player of the year to tears and straight after the game he revealed that his penalty, which flew high over the crossbar, would be his last for his country.

"For me the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion," Messi said.

Messi has won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga crowns with Barcelona, but has never taken a trophy with Argentina's senior team.

Javier Mascherano, 32, also announced his international retirement after the defeat.

Topics:  lionel messi

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