Lionel Messi says he will not play for Argentina again… “It hurts not to be a champion”

Lionel Messi has retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.

After defeat by Chile in the Copa America final in response to the question “What now?” his reaction was blunt. “That’s it,” he said. “It’s over for me with the national team. It’s not for me. The decision has been made. I think so. [Winning] is what I wanted most. It didn’t come. I think that’s it. That’s how I feel now, what I think. It’s a great sadness. It hurts not to be a champion.”

The 29 year-old Messi has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish side Barcelona. But his only major international honour is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games.

As well as losing two Copa America finals on penalties to Chile, Messi was in the Argentina side beaten 1-nil by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.

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