Argentina’s star player Lionel Messi missed his penalty shot during the Copa America final against Chile and clenched his teeth, while grabbing his shirt and dropping to his knees
Just minutes later, he walked from the pitch, with a pained, dazed look on his face. His generation’s greatest player in the world and perhaps the best to ever play has not won any title while playing for his country’s national team and that likely will never happen now.
Messi following the final loss to Chile, told an Argentine network that his time is over with the national team. He said he has played in four finals and has not won one. He told reporters it was what he wanted most, but could not accomplish it so it is likely over.
Chile defeated Argentina for the second consecutive year in the final with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory after the game had ended in regulation and extra time at 0-0.
Messi has won five FIFA Player of the Year awards, four titles in the Champions League and eight titles in La Liga the topflight league in Spain where he plays for Barcelona but has not won anything while playing for the Argentina national team.
The last time Argentina won a major championship was back in 1993.
Messi with Diego Maradona of Argentina and Pele of Brazil are considered the three best ever to play the sport. Messi won titles for Argentina while playing on the under-20 and under-23 teams, but for many fans of the sport, he must win a championship with the senior national club to solidify himself as of the greatest in history.
Juan Antonio Pizzi the coach of Chile, who is an Argentine, said that Messi’s numbers were unparalleled and will remain that way, because no other footballer will be able to accomplish what he has accomplished on the pitch.
Over 82,000 fans filled New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium Sunday night.
Chile’s Francisco Silva scored the final penalty kick that gave La Roja a 4-2 win in the shootout after Claudio Bravo, a teammate of Messi on Barcelona, saved a Lucas Biglia shot.
The match included two ejections during the first half and eight yellow cards. It remained scoreless for the 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of additional time.
Argentina has a great opportunity early in the first half, but Gonzalo Higuain’s shot rolled wide after he dropped it over Bravo’s head.
It was the third consecutive final that Higuain has had a clear cut opportunity to score and came up empty-handed.
The average crowd during the tournament was over 46,000 per match, which was nearly double that of 25,235 per match last year in Chile.