East Rutherford (New Jersey): Argentina star Lionel Messi may not be the only player to decide on international retirement after their Copa America heartbreak, according to compatriot and ace striker Sergio Aguero.
Argentina drew 0-0 with Chile in the final on Sunday before a missed penalty from Messi contributed to a 2-4 defeat in the shoot-out, after which the Barcelona star brought down the curtains on his international career.
Aguero, who shared with Messi the pain of consecutive defeats in Copa America finals to Chile and the loss of the 2014 World Cup final to Germany, confirmed that the devastation of another near miss had many contemplating a similar move.
“There are several players who are evaluating not continuing with the national team. This is the worst dressing-room I’ve ever been in, worse than the final in the World Cup in Brazil and the other Copa America,” Aguero told reporters here after Sunday’s final.
The 28-year-old also said he had never seen Messi so dejected ever in his life.
“We are all s****y, we are trying to think about other things and continue on forward,” Aguero said.
“But it’s hard. Once again luck has gone against us.”
“Unfortunately, the most broken one is Messi for his missed penalty. It is the worst I have ever seen him in the dressing rooms after a game.”
Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero, however, believes that Messi may come down from his decision after the initial heartbreak of Sunday’s defeat wears off.
“I think he spoke in the heat of the moment because a beautiful opportunity escaped us. I can’t imagine a national team without Messi. I think he’ll reflect on it,” Romero said.
Argentina, the most successful nation at the Copa America with 14 titles, thus continue their 23-year wait to win a major tournament. Their last triumph was in 1993 when they won the Copa America title.
The defeat was rendered even more poignant for Argentina fans as Messi announced his international retirement. The announcement brought down the curtains on a disappointing international career which started in 2005.