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The Daily Dirt, June 27: Bitter Tears

Has Lionel Messi left the Argentine national team for good?

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at Chile Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The best player of this generation has been turning into a Crying Jordan meme after last night’s Copa America Centenario final. In their third straight final, Argentina and Lionel Messi lost to Chile in penalties. You could see the heartbreak on Messi’s face after he missed his penalty attempt and it only got worse as Chile won the championship.

And now, he says he is retiring from the national team. The pain and pressure has combined to make him want to walk away in this moment. Once he gets away from this disappointment, will he come back? It’s very possible.

To understand this, you have to understand the issue of how Messi is perceived in Argentina. For people who watching and worshiped Diego Maradona, Messi has been a failure in the national team jersey. He went to Spain at a very young age and never played in the Argentine league. Maradona started at Argentinos Juniors before going to Boca. He was immensely skilled, but also a scrappy fighter from the barrio. Most importantly, Maradona carried Argentina to the World Cup title in Mexico in 1986. For that, he will always be revered.

You could almost see the pressure getting to Messi last night. He seemed to be trying to do more individually than usual. You can’t deny how much he wanted to win the trophy for Argentina. It just didn’t happen for him and for Argentina. The game is cruel sometimes.

Personally, I think he’ll be back in an Argentina jersey ahead of World Cup 2018. I just hope he can manage the immense pressure that will hit him in that tournament.


American Boy

More from New York on the Kwadwo Poku transfer to Miami FC. (Hudson River Blue)

Two penalties in the last ten minutes allow the Timbers to make off with a win over Houston. (Dynamo Theory)

Andrew Wenger did Jermaine Taylor dirty to score the first goal:

The best goals and skills of the week in Major League Soccer. (MLS)

The Orlando Pride lost a big home match to the Portland Thorns in NWSL action yesterday. (The Mane Land)

However, they did score this golazo:

Indy Eleven beat Pachuca 1-0 in a friendly in Indianapolis on a goal from Eamon Zayed. (Indy Eleven)


Out of this World

Words can’t really do the Copa America Centenario final justice:

Two big match-ups today to conclude the Euro 2016 Round of 16. Italy vs. Spain at noon and England vs. Iceland at 3pm, both on ESPN2.

Iceland is ready:


Oh Atlanta

Bud Norris leads the Braves to a 5-2 win over the Mets. (Talking Chop)

Falcons have sold nearly 30,000 PSL’s, accounting for nearly $200M. (The Falcoholic)