Here’s Why Some Of Messi’s Argentina Teammates May Retire With Him
Well, Lionel Messi had a crappy weekend. After breezing through the group stage and knockout rounds of Copa América Centenario, Messi and the albicelestes looked like the favorites to raise the trophy versus Chile (despite Chile’s 7-0 humiliation of Mexico).
Messi, who scored five goals in the tournament, did this when the match went to penalties:Credit: BeingFaruk / Twitter
Yep. He hit the ball over the crossbar. Fans couldn’t believe it…Credit: BeingFaruk / Twitter
And when Chile won, Messi couldn’t hold back the tears.Credit: BeingFaruk / Twitter
After the match, Messi shocked the world by announcing his retirement from international football.
AHORA: Messi: "Se terminó para mí la Selección" https://t.co/Nws9kiScoV
— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) June 27, 2016
“It’s been four finals [that we’ve lost]… this isn’t for me,” said Messi to TyC Sports. Btw, he’s retiring from Argentina’s national team, not from the sport.
After his announcement, lots of people criticized Messi for “giving up.”
Messi has done the biggest rage quit. It's strange because the best never give up.
— Chippolatte (@TheBurntChip) June 27, 2016
Some said his decision to not play for Argentina — he’s still going to play for his club team, Barcelona — was proof that he wasn’t a “winner.”
Messi still has a lot to give to his country but he just choose to give up and run away. That's not a "Best Player in the world" Mentality ✋
— ♔ღ♔Mr.Omar.C.R♔ღ♔ (@OMAR_CR7_) June 27, 2016
Messi, who has been criticized* for not carrying Argentina to a title, may be retiring to end the criticism. But he may have other reasons for quitting Argentina’s national team.
*It’s gotta be rough when two of the world’s greatest players, Pelé and Maradona, are videotaped discussing your lack of leadership skills.
Messi could be unhappy with Argentina’s fútbol federation, which has been accused of corruption for decades. A few days before the Copa América final, Messi fired shots at Argentina’s federation via Instagram:
“Once again waiting on the plane while we wait to leave for our destination. God, the AFA is such a disaster,” wrote Messi. He later apologized for the comments (but he didn’t take down the Instagram post).
That same week, AFA president Luis Segura was removed from his post after he was charged with corruption.Credit: C5n / YouTube
Segura is accused of orchestrating shady deals related to TV rights in Argentina. Wondering just how sketchy Argentina’s federation can be? Last year, after the death of then-AFA president Julio Grondona, the federation cast a vote to elect a new president. The federation’s 75 members returned a 38-38 vote — btw, that adds up to 76.
Messi isn’t the only one who announced his retirement. Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano is also hanging up his cleats for Argentina.
Several others, including Sergio Agüero, Angel Di Maria and Ezequiel Lavezzi, are also rumored to be retiring from Argentina’s national team.
Why? Some speculate it’s their way of protesting against a federation that is rife with corruption. If true, that could be eight players gone (including Messi), which is clearly a sign that something isn’t quite right with Argentina’s national team.
Or maybe it’s all just a scheme to save Messi from further criticism…Credit: BeingFaruk / Twitter
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