Argentina supporters gutted by 'LeoMexit'
Argentines begged Lionel Messi yesterday not to abandon the national team before the 2018 World Cup after he tearfully announced his retirement in frustration at another last-gasp international defeat
Buenos Aires/Santiago: Argentines begged Lionel Messi yesterday not to abandon the national team before the 2018 World Cup after he tearfully announced his retirement in frustration at another last-gasp international defeat.
The streets of Buenos Aires were deserted. Apart from the humiliation of being beaten on penalties for a second time by their neighbors, they were gutted at the news of what online wags were calling "LeoMexit — Messi's announced retirement from international service.
A hashtag in Spanish reading "Don't Go, Leo" spread on Twitter in the hours after the 29-year-old star striker said he was quitting the squad. "Don't go," echoed the popular sports newspaper Ole in its front-page headline.
"It is really unfair. Messi played well. It was the coach's mistake to field injured players," said Ricardo Miranda, 47, a passerby in a rainy Buenos Aires. As for the star striker, "He will not leave — you will see," Miranda added.
Some media blamed the players however for failing to land a killer blow in the final. Others branded Argentina's 23-year drought of international titles a "curse".
"The worst thing about this situation is that no other player was able to take advantage of the talent of the best player on the planet," wrote leading newspaper Clarin.