Lionel Messi, a 5 time Ballon D’Or winner, has for long now being considered among the greatest footballers of all time. Having won multiple trophies with FC Barcelona on club level, Lionel Messi has endured a disappointing run on the international level. Argentina have been runner-ups in 3 consecutive major international trophies in a row including the world cup finals against Germany and two Copa America finals against Chile. Many had counted on Messi to win an international trophy for the country and their first since 1993. Messi made his international debut in 2005 and has 113 caps for his country. He recently over took Gabriel Batistuta as the highest goal scorer for Argentina.
Aside from winning an Olympic Gold in 2008, Messi has failed to win any international glory for Argentina throughout his amazing and spectacular career. Being compared with Pele and Maradonna as the greatest of all time, the rest have something that Messi doesn’t and that is the only thing that raises a slight doubt about him being the Greatest of All Time. A World Cup. This is the highest honour that a player can earn for his country and Messi having played for it twice and ending up as a runner up back in Brazil, still hasn’t managed to earn the glory for his country and it is exactly that resentment that has led to his retirement.“For me, the national team is over," he said after defeat by Chile in the Copa America final. "I've done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.It's been four finals, I tried," added Messi, who made his debut for Argentina in 2005 and has played 113 times for his country. "It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over.”
While many hope that this decision was made in the spur of the moment by Messi, many other senior players have expressed desire to retire from the International platform including Sergio Aguero and the skipper Javier Mascherano. Lionel Messi, only 29, is still believed to have at least 3-4 good years ahead of him. Just at the peak of his game, Messi helped FC Barcelona win the La Liga in 2016-17. If it is indeed his strong and concrete decision, then no doubt it is going to be a huge loss to the footballing world. His skills, his intelligence and his gameplay is unparalleled and certainly the best in the world currently. It is understood that he will still continue playing on the club level. But personally as a football fan, I hope Lionel Messi reconsiders his decision to retire because there is immense pleasure in watching him play the sport and more so on the international level.
Written by Anand JC
Reader. Writer. Teacher. Preacher. Occasional Exerciser. Master Procrastinator ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)