Lionel Andrés Messi has retired from the Argentine National Football team after 113 appearances, 55 goals and 11 years. Just after missing a critical penalty kick in last night’s Copa América final against Chile, the 29-year-old legend announced that after four consecutive failed attempts to lead la albiceleste to victory in a final, he will resign from international football. “The national team is finished for me,” he said. Wait, que?
Should his announcement prove to hold, it would be the most shocking exit from international football in memory — the arguably greatest player of all time, retiring at the top of his game (this year he won both the Ballon D’Or and the UEFA cup), at the age of 29, two years out from a World Cup. It has led major Argentine sports network TyC to ask: What hurts more, the [Copa América] loss or Messi’s resignation?
Messi, TyC. OhmygodMessi, this is obviously so much worse! Messi! Our tiny hero! Judging from the disbelief on Twitter, where it has been termed both the #Mexit and #NoTeVayasLio, the universe agrees with me. The whole football-watching world.
— Sid_son (@rd_addiction) June 27, 2016
But take solace, the entire world is speculating if this announcement is actually, you know, true. First of all, he made the announcement last night, in tears, after the game, but has not confirmed it since. And according to The Bubble’s very own Sam Kelly, Messi has not spoken to Kun Agüero about this. Which basically means that this is not true because Kun Agüero is his very best bro forever and ever and if Kun hasn’t had a heart to heart with him yet, then why are we even speaking about this? No Kun, No #mexit! Sounds like solid, non-denial fact to me.
Let’s examine Messi’s exact statement to reporters:
“It’s incredible the fact that we can’t win it,” he said. “It happened to us again and by penalty kicks. It’s the third consecutive final. We tried and it wasn’t for us. It is difficult in this moment to do any sort of analysis. My thinking right now and thinking about it in the locker room, I’m done playing with the national team.” Right. Okay. I hear you. Duly noted. Respect your feelings, Leo. But you need to respect mine which are a little something like this:
And honestly, what I feel right now is a little bit nauseous, and maybe like I never want to go to work again. I also feel like I could eat some pancakes with some pulled pork on top and also that I should move to Costa Rica permanently to go surfing. So you know, that’s how I feel right now, but maybe later, I will realize I need money to pay rent and that I don’t know how to surf.
More than one camp has concluded that his announcement was spurred by the turmoil within the Argentine Futbol Association (AFA), which is rife with alleged corruption and in-fighting. FIFA itself announced that it will be managing the organization temporarily while they select an emergency panel. Messi has made no secret of his frustration with the organization, taking regular digs on social media.
Messi’s announcement has produced a domino effect that Argentine nightmares are made of among the national team players: Kun Agüero and Javier Mascherano are both now reportedly considering retirement from La Albiceleste.
So, in conclusion, Messi’s says he’s retiring, all of Argentina is like, “Never, not ever, nice try,” and the rumor mill is in histérico mode for the rest of the team. This may be the darkest day in Argentine history, and while we here at The Bubble respect Messi’s right to feel his feelings, we are just going to leave this entire Drake album here for him to listen to, have a moment and then get back to playing some football.