Lionel Messi announces retirement, Must thank Gonzalo Higuain, Heber Lopes and Chokergentina

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A distraught Messi after missing penalty kick which would have put Argentina’s nose ahead

Lionel Messi announces retirement from international football

27th June 2016 will now be known the day when Lionel Messi choked himself to football retirement from the national team. This came hours after the national team, Argentina, handed over to Chile, for the second consecutive year, the Copa America title.

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Lionel Messi announces retirement from international football

Messi must thank Chokers-Argentina

Messi’s Argentina have choked in three consecutive finals in three consecutive years now. Not to mention this not so envious statistic of losing seven finals in a row now.

The seven consecutive finals lost for Argentina are now

The team which had beaten Chile twice in the last 100 days, seem to have lost this game in the mind before entering the pitch. They lacked teeth, adventure and effort. For most parts of the game, specially in second half, Chile looked more like scoring and their attacks had up to five personnel inside Argentina box. It was as poor a display from Argentina, as any fan, waiting for past 23 years to see them lift a trophy, can dread.

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Referee Heber Lopes was man of the final – there should be an investigation committee put on what basis was he selected to officiate in such a key game

Messi must thank referee Heber Lopes

The man of the Copa America Centenario final was Heber Lopes, the Brazilian referee. He first handed out two yellows to Marcelo Diaz (the second one looked bit harsh) and then set about to even things by giving a straight red card to a perfect tackle from Marcus Rojo (even a yellow for it would be harsh looking at it on replays). He was so much trigger happy that for most of the second half, players tried tricking him into dishing cards for the opposition.

Needless to say that red card, sort of convinced Argentina that they will fail at the last hurdle, yet again. That winning finals was just beyond them.

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Great Marcus Rojo tackle getting the ball all along ends with straight red as referee wanted to even things

Messi must thank Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain’s was clear one on one to score, in the 22nd min, off an opposition team error and missed the easiest and best chance of the game. It happened in World cup final 2014 and also today. In between he missed easy tap in chances in the Copa America 2015 final.

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Only Gonzalo Higuain misses scoring for Argentina in finals, even when gifted opportunities by opposition.

Personally, i thought it was a bad omen, when Higuain started the game! It looked worse when Lionel Messi started competing with Higuain for worst player on the pitch. It became nightmarish when Angel Di Maria started competing with both of them for worst player on the pitch.

Diego Maradona was right in 2010, Argentina is “Javier Mascherano + 10 players”. The past three years prove they are nothing more than “Chokergentina” on the big stage.

And it ends an era for Messi and Argentina fans in continental tournaments. Thank you for reaching finals with gallant displays over the three years. But that’s that. Lot of promise and hope remains unfulfilled.

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Javier Mascherano has been the outstanding and best player for Argentina in the three finals they lost between 2014-2016. Pity his celebrated team mates could never perform up to his levels on the big stage.
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