Lionel Messi, considered by many as best player in the world of football, has announced retirement from International Football after Argentina’s loss in Copa America final.
Soon after he missed a penalty shootout, shattered Messi took the decision to retire from the international duty.
Playing two days after his 29th birthday, Messi lost a final for the third year in a row and the fourth time overall with Argentina.
The ace footballer, a five-time FIFA player of the year, winner of four Champions League titles and eight Spanish La Liga crowns with Barcelona, was crushed. Much of his nation had counted on him to bring home its first major title since 1993.
Messi joined Barcelona at the age of 13 in 2000 and got high youth ranks before Frank Rijakaard, then coach, gave him his senior debut at the age of 16 in a friendly match against Porto in 2003.
In October, 2004, he made his La Liga de,but and scored his first La Liga goal the following May in a match against Albacete at the Nou Camp.
He scored six goals in 17 appearances in 2005-06 as Barcelona grabbed La Liga for second year in a row but did not feature in their 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Champions League final.
Messi won the first of four consecutive World Player of the Year awards.
Won La Liga again in 2010 and retained the World Player award, beating shortlisted Spanish World Cup winners and Barca team mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
In the 2011 Champions league final, the ace player scored one goal and created another that inspired Barca to a 3-1 win against Manchester United.
He was the key person for a third consecutive La Liga title in 2010-11 and was on the scoresheet as they beat Santos 4-0 to win the Club World Cup.
In 2012, Messi completed the year calendar with an extraordinary record total of 91 goals in all competitions.
He broke the La Liga scoring record for one season in 2011-12 with 50 goals.
Messi equaled the Champions League scoring record of 71 goals, the record set by former Real Madrid forward Raul.
In 2015-16, Messi won his eighth La Liga title and fourth Spanish Cup with Barcelona.
In 2005, Messi made his debut for the senior side in a friendly against Hungary.
Messi led Argentina to the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Messi was part of the argentina side at 2010 World Cup that was beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He captained Argentina to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they lost 1-0 to Germany. Lionel Messi won the Fifa Golden Ball as the best player of World Cup 2014.
In his second Copa America final in Chile in 2015, the team lost the final on penalties to the host nation.
He scored a remarkable hat trick in 18 minutes after coming off the bench in Argentina’s 5-0 win over Panama in the 2016 Centenary Copa America in Chicago.
Lionel Messi broke Argentina’s all-time goal-scoring record with his 55 goals- 27 have come in friendly games, 15 in World Cup qualifying encounters, eight in the Copa America and five in the World Cup. Messi’s 55th international score came in the Copa America against the United States.
In the 2016 Copa America’s final match against Chile, Messi announced his retirement after he missed a penaltyin a shootout and Argentina were beaten by Chile for the second year in a row. He announced his retirement after the loss.
The ending, indeed, was heart-breaking.