Lionel Messi says he's done playing for Argentina after latest championship loss

Lionel Messi says he's done playing for Argentina after latest championship loss

Copa America 2016

Lionel Messi says he's done playing for Argentina after latest championship loss

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Photo by Adam Hunge/USA Today Sports

Photo by Adam Hunge/USA Today Sports

As if losing a third straight major tournament final wasn’t painful enough for fans of Argentina’s national team, the big news after Sunday’s Copa America Centenario final may have hurt even more.

A dejected Lionel Messi said he is done playing for Argentina, making the statement in the wake of Argentina’s 4-2 penalty shootout loss to Chile on Sunday night. Messi delivered the statement in the bowels of MetLife Stadium a mere hour after missing Argentina’s first shootout attempt.

“I was thinking in the locker room that this is it for me in terms of the national team,” said Messi. “It has been four finals (without a win). It’s not for me. I tried to find (a championship), it’s what I wanted most. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it, but I think that’s it.”

The news could get even worse for Argentina, with Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero also reportedly contemplating the end of their careers with Argentina.

The 29-year-0ld Messi, who has made 112 appearances for the Albiceleste and scored a record 55 goals, has come up short in a championship game at a major competition for three straight years with his nation. The first loss was suffered against Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The next two came at the hands of Chile at the 2015 Copa America and Copa America Centenario on Sunday.

Messi recently became Argentina’s leading scorer, passing Gabriel Batistuta with a free-kick goal in the semifinal round against the U.S. Men’s National Team.

What do you think of Messi deciding to walk away from Argentina? Think it was just him talking in the heat of the moment? Expecting him to play internationally again?

Share your thoughts below.

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