Lionel Messi has decided to bid goodbye to the world off International football. It’s a sad day for his fans, but following Argentina’s fourth major defeat in a tournament, Messi decided to bow out gracefully instead of lingering on and costing his team any more penalty kicks. Despite his considerable contributions to the team in the last decade, Messi’s latest pentaly-kick miss against Chile saw the ball fly clean over the goal-post, which undoubtedly prompted Messi – all of 29 years-old – to throw in the towel. Here’s celebrating the prodigious footballer’s international career with a look at its highlights.
- His first goal ever for Argentina (Argentina vs Croatia, 2006)
Messi didn’t have the best debut match, having been sent-off within two minutes of his arrival. However, his debut goal displayed his uncannily fast leg-work, exactly 10 years ago. A star was born.
2. His first hat-trick (Argentina vs Switzerland, 2012)
Messi is no stranger to hat-tricks. Although he may have scored numerous ones for FC Barcelona, it took him seven years to register his first hat-trick for his national team.
3. His most recent free kick (Argentina vs USA, 2016)
In case you’re thinking Messi might have actually lost it, he really hasn’t. Why it was just last week that Argentina wiped the floor with the United States team where Messi’s free-kick made him the highest goal-scorer in Argentina’s footballing history, pipping the great Gabriel Batistuta in the Cop America semi-final.
4. 2014 World Cup (2014)
Anyone who watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup knows that it was Messi’s efforts that got them to the quarter-finals. It was the same story with the next World Cup. Although Argentina lost to Germany again, Messi was instrumental in winning all the group matches. Although Messi wasn’t too pleased with the outcome of the tournament, he still titled player of the tournament.
5. 2008 Beijing Olympics
This happened to be the only time Messi helped Argentina win a major tournament, helping his under-23 team bagtheir second gold medal. Messi scored twice in the tournament—against Ivory Coast in the group stage and The Netherlands in the quarter-finals.