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    Teary-Eyed Messi Quits International Football

    • Playing two days after his 29th birthday, Messi lost a final for the third year in a row. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • Despite a glittering career that has seen him named FIFA World Player of the Year five times, Messi has faced persistent sniping from critics in Argentina. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • The defeat also ensured Argentina's 23-year wait for a major title - and a first for five-time world player of the year Messi - continued. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • The five-time FIFA Player of the Year Messi has won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga crowns with Barcelona, but has never taken a trophy with Argentina. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • Messi's bombshell decision comes after a gruelling season which was disrupted by injury last year. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • The heartbroken Barcelona superstar was distraught after missing from the spot and it led to him facing fourth straight defeat in a major final while representing Argentina. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • The lasting image of the tournament will remain Messi breaking down on the pitch as Chile defended their title successfully after a penalty shoot-out. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • It was largely due to Messi that Argentina reached the World Cup final in 2014, but being second best isn’t easy for a player whose trophy cabinet is laden with honours. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

    • For most of the last decade, Messi has shouldered the burden of expectation from Argentinian fans craving a first major tournament success since 1993. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)