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Lionel Messi retires from international football after Copa America final defeat

Published 27/06/2016

ionel Messi of Argentina looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
ionel Messi of Argentina looks on before the game winning penalty kick is made during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after he missed a penalty kick against Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Chile defeated Argentina 0-0 with the 4-2 win in the shootout. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina looks on against Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts to the loss to Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Chile defeated Argentina 0-0 with the 4-2 win in the shootout. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after a missed kick in the second overtime session against the Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Chile defeated Argentina 0-0 with the 4-2 win in the shootout. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after missing a penalty kick against Chile during the Copa America Centenario Championship match at MetLife Stadium on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 in penalty kicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
File photo dated 18-11-2014 of Argentina's Lionel Messi. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 27, 2016. Lionel Messi has retired from international football, the Argentina forward has announced. See PA story SOCCER Messi. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Lionel Messi has retired from international football after missing a penalty as Argentina lost a shoot-out to Chile in the Copa America final.

The Barcelona forward has decided to quit without winning a major trophy with his country.

Following the defeat at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Messi admitted after failing to win in four finals for Argentina he had decided not to carry on.

The 29-year-old told Argentinian TV network TyC Sports: "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 champion) but did not."

Messi had become Argentina's all-time top scorer with 55 goals earlier in the tournament but final heartache was followed by his post-match announcement.

Having lost Copa America finals in 2007, 2015 and 2016 and the World Cup final in 2014 Messi has turned his back on the international game.

He added: "There are four finals, not for me, unfortunately, it was what I wanted. More than ever I wanted to win at least this cup but (it) could not be.

"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.

"I tried many times to get a title and failed."

Argentina lost 4-2 on penalties as Chile retained the title following a game which had ended 0-0 after extra time.

In a repeat of last year's final when Chile also won on spot-kicks, both teams finished with 10 men in a bad-tempered clash as Argentina's Marcos Rojo and Chile's Marcelo Diaz saw red in the first half.

Messi and Lucas Biglia missed penalties for Argentina in the shoot-out to hand Chile their second Copa America title in a special tournament which was played to celebrate the competition's centenary.

Messi blasted high and wide and Claudio Bravo saved Biglia's kick leaving Francisco Silva to fire home the winning penalty and give Chile a second straight title.

Away from international football Messi has had a glittering career with Barcelona, who he joined at the age of 13 from Newell's Old Boys.

He has won the Champions League four times, Spain's Primera Division on eight occasions and four Copa del Rey crowns.

Messi has also been awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or as the world's best player five times.

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