Chile’s Copa America-winning captain Claudio Bravo hoped that his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi rethinks his decision to retire from international football and continues playing for Argentina.
An emotional captain Messi stunned the football world after Argentina’s 2-4 penalty shoot-out loss to Chile in Sunday’s Copa America Centenario final, announcing his retirement from international football.
Messi — the country’s leading goal-scorer till date — was in tears post-match following his unsuccessful spot-kick, which led to a third consecutive final defeat for Argentina who continue with their major title drought since Copa America triumph in 1993.
But Bravo, who plays alongside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at Barcelona, is holding onto the hope that the 29-year-old will add to his 113 caps.
“For me, Messi is the best player in the world,” Bravo, who claimed the centenary tournament’s Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper was quoted as saying by goal.com on Sunday.
“We know too well the quality of person he is. I’ll take the best player in the world. I hope he continues playing for Argentina many years,” he added.
The defeat was rendered even more poignant for Argentina fans as Messi announced his international retirement. The announcement brought down the curtains on a disappointing international career which started in 2005.