Argentina’s Lionel Messi is, arguably, the world’s most adored soccer player.
Standing just 5’7″ and being an absolute magician on the soccer field, the “Little Lion” has made people believe that God plays soccer—and that his name happened to be Lionel.
Following his team’s Copa America loss to Chile last night—where Messi heartbreakingly missed his penalty kick in the shootout—the 29-year-old stunned the soccer world by announcing that he will no longer be suiting up for his native Argentina national team anymore.
To translate, here’s what Messi said:
“It’s difficult. This time is hard. In the locker room, I thought it was over for me and the national team. The team is not for me.
“It’s what I feel now, a great sadness that this happened again, that I missed the penalty kick. It was very important. (Leaving the national team) is for the good of all. I’m not satisfied with reaching the final and not winning it.
“I tried hard to be a champion with Argentina. It didn’t happen. I couldn’t get it done.”
I was going to give a comparison and say that this is like Stephen Curry deciding that, after his team’s NBA Finals loss last week, he was going to hang ’em up and just play in the D-League or something. But there’s absolutely no comparison to Messi—the dude is a soccer god!
Argentina’s national team, which hasn’t won a major tournament since the 1993 Copa America, seems to have weighed on Messi emotionally, as he is the first to get both praise and blame for all the squad’s shortcomings.
As of this morning, he appears he’ll no longer need to worry about the criticism—and it’s a sad day for soccer fans around the world.