Lionel Messi Retires From International Football, Chile Wins Copa America

'Ronaldo would never have missed' is not a cool thing to say right now.

27/06/2016 12:59 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
AFP/Getty Images
Argentina's Lionel Messi leaves the field after being defeated by Chile in the penalty shoot-out of the Copa America Centenario final in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States, on June 26, 2016. After extra-time Chile win penalty shoot-out 4-2. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has sensationally retired from international football after missing a crucial kick early in the penalty shootout as Chile won the Copa America final.

Nobody's perfect, not even the greatest footballer on the planet, and Messi missed the opening penalty in the shootout in the Copa America final, helping hand the trophy to Chile.

The match was a 0-0 stalemate after regular time and extra time. Chile had the first penalty and blew it. At least the shot was on target and forced the goalie to earn his pay.

Up stepped Messi to do what Messi does: score goals. This, surely, would put Argentina ahead and on track to record its 14th win in the Copa America -- which for the record was once the championship of South America but is now a tournament which incorporates nations from North, South and Central America. Plus Asia sometimes too. Because sport is weird.

But Messi's effort was wild. Paper planes have been thrown with more accuracy.

It was tit for tat with shots on target after that until Chile 's goalie pulled off this beauty of a save.

Then this, and it was all over.

Chile had won just its second Copa America. Which kind of left Messi feeling like this.

He's Messi-ing up his hair.

Most people regard Lionel Messi as the best footballer on the planet. There's also a strong case for Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, who's been pulling off all sorts of tricks over in Euro 2016, which is the European equivalent of the Copa America.

Messi or Ronaldo, Ronaldo or Messi. Frankly it doesn't matter. All that matters right now is that the 29-year-old has again failed to win a big international trophy. Remember, Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. And now he's signed off permanently from national duty.

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

Was the loss to Chile all Messi's fault? Of course it was not. In fact, his sublime play is a huge part of the reason Argentina made the final. Here's the famous free kick goal against the U.S. in the semi final

In fact, here are the extended highlights of that whole match. Which are basically the Messi highlights. That's how good he was.

As for the Copa America final, the really wasteful player from an Argentine perspective was striker Gonzalo Higuaín. HOW. DID. HE. MISS. THIS?

And the hero? The hero was Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Here's a save he made during injury time. Wow. Got a face full of goalpost for his trouble too.

For the record, you might recall that Chile Beat Australia 3-1 at the most recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It shows we weren't that bad after all, losing to a side that good.

Meanwhile the next trophy for Argentine football might be a long time coming. Messi has now lost four major international finals with Argentina and won precisely zero. Frankly, his teammates didn't really look up to his level in the 2014 World Cup, or for parts of this year's Copa America.

But then, who apart from Ronaldo is up to Messi's level?

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