Argentina and the world begs Messi: "Leo, please don't go..."
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, considered by many the best player in the world, made worldwide headlines with his announcement that he's retiring from international football.
"This is over for me", said Messi after Argentina lost the Copa America final on penalties to Chile for the second year in a row. An announcement that made front-page news all over the world. Messi missed his penalty and broke down in tears after the initial shock had passed, sitting on the bench alone with the eyes of the world on him. At 29 Messi would give up the chance to play in Russia 2018, and for the Mexican newspaper Récord, "The Messiah has surrendered".
Olé (Argentina): "His best final, his worst final". "How do you begin to explain Messi's final, fighting against everyone and everything, exhausted but still trying to win it in extra time and then missing his penalty? The disconsolate weeping of the genius among geniuses once again destined to disappointment in the albiceleste jersey. It's as if international football finals were invented to confound the number 10, and despite his at times superlative efforts, he still hasn't lifted a cup. Let's hope that this retirement announcement was just something said in the heat of moment. Alone again, faced with winning the cup all on his own again, his compañeros disappearing one-by-one, surrounded by red shirts, against all odds still creating danger and still making things happen: Provoking the sending-off of an opponent, winning free-kicks in dangerous positions, putting Aguero through on goal, generating the only moments that looked like winning the game. It hurts to see him like this. It hurts to see him cry and you just want to give him a hug. It hurts to watch a generation cover themselves in glory, only to end up burying themselves in bitterness. It hurts to see the best player in the world play so brilliantly and not be rewarded with the goal and the trophy he so richly deserves.
Récord (México): "The Messiah has surrendered". "In the centenary of the oldest international tournament in the world, once again Messi and Argentina reached the final to face La Roja. After 120 deadlocked minutes, it was the Russian roulette of penalties, Messi missed his and Chile lifted the cup".
Marca: "Leo Mexit". "At 29 years of age, Messi, Argentina's top goalscoere of all time (55 goals), captain and star man of Martino's squad, is leaving the squad after 113 matches and 11 years an Albiceleste in which he has played four Copa Americas and three World Cups, losing in four finals (2007, 2015 and 2016 in the Copa America), and one World Cup.