Lionel Messi today is no less than a demi-god in the world of football. The five FIFA Ballons d'Or holder has the eyes of the entire globe when he dribbles, fakes and flawlessly flicks the ball into the net, leaving an awestruck opponent defense in his wake. The only thing which will perhaps haunt him for his life is his performance and his leading ability to take his National Argentine team to the ultimate glory.
The loss to a clinical Chile in the Copa America cup final comes at a time when the scars from a previous loss were almost healed. Here are the missed opportunities which led Messi take the impulsive decision to hang the national colors.
This was the start to disappointment for the football sensation, where Argentina under his leadership went down 3-0 to a great display of exotic football from Brazil.
As if the goals from Julio Baptista and Dani Alves were not enough, an own goal from Roberto Ayala further magnified the misery of defeat for Messi's men, eventually losing them the coveted continental trophy.
Argentina were clearly never this close to silverware, and with the victory over the out of colour arch-rival Brazil, the world knew they were in for a pie of history.
A huge miss from Higuain, a resolute German defence and a volley strike from Mario Goetze saw the Germans succeeding in handing another haunting experience to the little magician of football, who played like a pale immitation of himself.
This is the most devastating defeat where the tables on the favourites were turned by a team solely playing with perfection.
It was a deadlock in the legitimate and stoppage times, and then Chile, who dominated the possession and the total shots, calmly netted the soccer ball four times to Argentina's single goal in the penalties, taking the Copa America Cup for the second consecutive time. The only other team managing the feat was Argentina in the 1940's.
0 shots, 0 goals and a single shot on target in over 360 minutes of play. These are not the statistics of the world's best. Messi failed to score his penalty too. Now, as he speaks of retiring, it can only be hoped that it was an impulsive statement on his part, and we will get to see more of this man's magic in Argentine hues. The cups may have evaded him, but they will have to come to his rescue. Given the talent and the legend he is, it will be the only redemption. We still love you Leo, whatever it takes!