`Global icon` Messi should drop Argentina’s retirement plan: ex-footballer

New Delhi : Shocked by Lionel Messi’s sudden retirement from international football, former Indian footballer Anadi Barua on Monday urged the Argentina star striker to drop his idea and continue to play the game.

Describing Messi as `one of the best players`, Barua said the 29-year-old is an outstanding footballer and a global icon.

“It’s very sad news. I am extremely shocked. One of the best players, outstanding footballer. He has very good skills. He is our icon,” Barua told ANI here.

“I don’t want him to retire. If his followers request him not to retire then he might change his decision. Many good players have missed a goal in the penalty shootouts in major events like the World Cup. I think he took the blame on himself for the defeat. We want to see his football, skills and goals. Argentina managed to reach the final which is also a great achievement. He should drop the idea of retirement and continue to play,” he added.

Messi’s retirement came after he missed a penalty in Argentina’s 2-4 defeat against Chile in the Copa America Centenario final at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Monday.

Following the defeat, Messi informed that he had made the decision not to appear for the national team once again.

“The national team is over for me. That’s four finals (lost,) it’s not for me. It’s a made decision, I think,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying by goal.com.

Messi admitted that he is feeling extremely sad after missing his penalty kick, which was really crucial for his side.

After both sides failed to score goal in regulation time and extra time, Chile and Argentina were taken to penalties to decide the winner.

Messi, who was making his 112th appearance for the national side, missed his spot-kick in the dramatic penalty shootout as Argentina lost their fourth major final in nine years. (ANI)