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Published: 08:16 | 27/6/16

Messi ends international career

Decision comes after Copa America defeat

Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from international football following Argentina's defeat to Chile in the Copa America final.

Messi made the shock announcement after missing his side's first penalty in the shootout at the MetLife Stadium.

Despite winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Barcelona, success on the international stage has eluded him with Argentina losing the 2007, 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals as well as the 2014 World Cup final.

"It's not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion," Messi said. "It's been four finals, I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over.

"I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, and then for everyone. I think there's a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.

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

Messi, who became his country's record scorer with 55 goals during the tournament, made his debut for Argentina in 2005 and went on to make 113 appearances for his country and his international team-mate Sergio Romero is hopeful he will change his mind once he has time to reflect on his decision.

"I think he spoke while he was heated, because a beautiful opportunity escaped us. I can't imagine a national team without Messi," Romero said.

Nothing could separate the teams after 120 minutes of football but Chile went on to win 4-2 on penalties.

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