After nearly a one-month long tournament, the Copa América came to an end with a re-match game between Argentina and Chile. History repeated itself Sunday night at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as both soccer teams played head-to-head for the Copa title in its 100-year celebration.
Similar to the 2015 games that were hosted in Chile, the final match was a tight and nerve-racking game. After nearly two-hours in the field with a score of 0-0, Argentina and Chile took their fate to penalties. Chile, once again, nabbed the title as they scored four goals and Argentina scored two.
Despite the back-to-back celebration for the Chilean team, Lionel Messi became the center of attention as it was the first time in his career that he missed a penalty shooting. The 29-year-old FC Barcelona star was also caught on camera with a distraught face and tears in his eyes following the match.
After the game, Messi opened up about the game and revealed to news reporters that he has decided to “throw in the towel” and call it quits with the Argentina national team.
“My thinking right now and thinking about it in the locker room, I’m done playing with the national team,” he told a group of reporters in the locker rooms, reports ESPN.
“I tried my hardest. It’s been four finals, and I was not able to win. I tried everything possible,” he continued. “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.”
“Some (players) in the locker room are looking really bad; I don’t think they’ll continue with the national team. If you think about it, creating opportunities for other players is a good thing for the national team,” he said to reporters.
“We are hurting because of Messi — there’s no explanation to what happened to him. He tried it all to get the championship for us. For us, he’s still the best player of the world,” Agüero noted, adding that the team did everything they could in the last two Copa América finals, but this year’s loss was the toughest to swallow.