Lionel Messi – debatably the best in the world, arguably the most talented left footer to ever play football (or in U.S.A as they say – soccer). However, after his team Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America 2016 final, Messi decided to retire from international football at the age of only 29. This came as quite the shock to many fans and pundits, but what was the real reason for him retiring?
Well, Messi in his 11 year run with Argentina, Messi reached the finals of both the World Cup (2014) and the Copa America (2015 and 2016) – two major tournaments that involved Argentina and failed to lift the trophies. He came agonisingly in the World Cup after Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany and in the Copa America 2016 final which was decided by a penalty shootout, he missed a vital penalty kick in a penalty shootout against Chile that ultimately aided in Chile’s cup triumph. The penalty miss infuriated Messi as seen by his reaction and is (so far) the bitter finish to his international career.
The news shortly broke afterwards of Messi’s retirement and this quote followed by Messi stated his reasons: “I tried so hard to be [a] champion with Argentina. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do it. I think it’s best for everyone, for me and for many people who want it. The choice for me is over, it is a decision. I tried many times [to be a champion] but did not.” (Quoted from here).
Now this is truly an exit mounted up of years of international failure and infuriation. I mean you can’t really blame the man for rage quitting but maybe his good fortune would have come in the next World Cup which should have been his most likely last World Cup as he would have entered his 30’s. However, the reasons for leaving seem self-motivated and the notion about constantly winning (although that has made him succeed at the highest of levels). Lionel Messi probably felt like he had nothing left to achieve (apart from winning a major tournament) after he broke numerous Argentinian national football records throughout his stint as an international footballer. But striving towards being a champion for yourself not always seems the best as the fans have suffered the same and maybe even longer drought as Messi. To retire based around not reaching personal achievements rather than going out proudly for being able to represent and lead your country seems rather insulting. Nevertheless, you cannot demerit Messi’s efforts and determination to try and reach the pinnacle of success. However, his commitment may be questionable as it has provoked other Argentinian stars such as Sergio Aguero and Javier Mascherano to follow Messi’s footsteps. So, has Messi arguably had the quickest rage quit of 2016?
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