Argentina stars Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero have followed Lionel Messi in retiring from international football following their penalty heartbreak to Chile in the Copa America.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was the first to go after his miss in the shootout , emotionally bidding farewell to the international scene after another high-profile failure.
And now Mascherano and Aguero have also followed suit, with reports in Argentina suggesting that Angel Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Gonzalo Higuain and Lucas Biglia could
ALL be poised to quit.
The exodus comes after a harrowing defeat on penalties yet again, with Chile holding their nerve to secure a second straight Copa America.
The 29-year-old Barca star said: “For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion.
“My thinking right now and thinking about it in the locker room, I’m done playing with the national team.”
Speaking after the game, Aguero said: “”There are several players who are evaluating not continuing with the national team.
“This is the worst locker room I’ve ever been in, worse than the final in the World Cup in Brazil and the other Copa America.”
Gerardo Martino saw his side create a number of good chances but fail to find a way past Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal.
And he was sure that once the heartbreak of defeat heals, his side will stay together and push for World Cup qualification.
He said: “My impression is that they don’t have any reason not to continue. We’re in the middle of a very difficult World Cup qualification, which will continue in September.
“Besides, they’ve done well. They don’t have too much to scold themselves over.
“[Messi] is the way any footballer must be when he gets to the final and then loses. Certainly, to lose again is too painful to assume a posture that’s any different than that, either on the field or in the dressing room.”