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Lionel Messi: From 2005 Youth Title for Argentina to Bitter Retirement

Lionel Messi. (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Lionel Messi. (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Messi sensationally announced retirement from international football after Argentina crashed to an upset defeat against Chile in the final of the Copa America.

Lionel Messi sensationally announced retirement from international football after Argentina crashed to an upset defeat against Chile in the final of the Copa America.

The heartbroken Barcelona superstar was distraught after missing a spot-kick as Chile snatched victory in a penalty shoot-out - Messi's fourth straight defeat in a major final while representing Argentina.

"For me the national team is over," the crestfallen 29-year-old told reporters. "I've done all I can, I've been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion.

"It's a hard moment for me and the team, and it's difficult to say, but it's over with the Argentina team."

Messi's dramatic announcement followed Argentina's third loss in a major final since 2014. They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the World Cup in 2014 and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the final of the 2015 Copa America.

Here's a look at the factbox on Argentina forward Messi after his shocking exit:

* Led Argentina to the title at the 2005 World Youth Championship, scoring two penalties in a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final.

* Made his debut for the senior side in a friendly against Hungary in August 2005 but was sent off less than a minute after coming on as a substitute for elbowing an opponent who had pulled his shirt.

* Played only a bit-part role at the 2006 World Cup. Argentina were knocked out in the quarter-finals by hosts Germany in a penalty shootout.

* Led Argentina to the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

* Part of the Argentina side coached by Diego Maradona at the 2010 World Cup that was beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals. Messi failed to score and struggled to find his best form in the tournament in South Africa.

* After a season disrupted by injury, Messi captained Argentina to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they lost 1-0 to Germany. Messi, who scored four goals in the finals, won the Golden Ball award as tournament's best player.

* Played his second Copa America final for Argentina in Chile in 2015, losing the final on penalties to the host nation.

* Scored a hat-trick in 18 minutes after coming off the bench in Argentina's 5-0 win over Panama in the 2016 Centenary Copa America in Chicago.

* Set a record of 55 goals for Argentina when he scored in the 4-0 win over the United States in the semi-finals.

* Was on the losing side again after a penalty shootout defeat by Chile in the Copa America centenary final and said he was retiring from internationals.

(With inputs from Reuters)