30 June 2016
Mayor of Argentina’s capital city Buenos Aires, Horacio Larreta Rodriguez, has unveiled a statue of Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi amid pleas for his return to international football after he announced he his retirement.
Messi announced his retirement one hour after the crushing defeat Argentina suffered at the hands of Chile in Sunday’s Copa America final. Argentina lost on penalties with Messi missing his spot kick.
Since Messi started playing for the Argentinian national team, he has never won any major tournament with the Argentine team that more often than not looks promising on paper.
Messi has played and lost two Copa America finals (to Chile), as well as a World Cup final to Germany in 2014.
In the wake of Sunday’s defeat, the five time Ballon d’Or winner said “I’ve done all I can. It hurts to not be a champion,” as he quit the national team.
Left heartbroken by the announcement, Argentinians have since Messi’s retirement taken to social media to show their overwhelming support for the footballer with the hashtag #NoTeVayasLio meaning “Don’t Go Lio” in English.
Even the President, Mauricio Macri, expressed support for the player. He tweeted:
“More than ever I feel a great pride for our national team. I hope that the joy of seeing the world’s best will continue for many more years. #DontGoLio”