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Written by Sam Gubner
At the ripe age of 30, Lionel Messi has retired from the Argentine international squad, and yet will still play professionally on Barcelona.
Messi retired after loosing his third straight title with Argentina in a shootout with Chile. So without this superstar, it is almost impossible for Argentina to win an Olympics, World Cup, or any other international tournament.
But another reason he may have retired other than the loss is his slow but steady separation from his native Argentina. Messi was becoming more a Spaniard, living and playing in Barcelona, than he was an Argentinian so he didn’t feel the need to play for the team anymore. In other words any patriotism he had for Argentina is now gone.
Messi’s retirement had nothing to do with the interests of Argentina as he said in a statement announcing his retirement, and was entirely a selfish decision. Messi as I said is only 30 years old and has a ton of time to win his first World Cup and multiple Copa Americas, he just didn’t feel like doing it anymore.
To me this is not a good reason to retire whatsoever. The reason Messi got to where he was is because he pushed himself, worked extremely hard, and never gave up once. And I don’t know for sure because I’m not a Messi expert, but this is most likely the first time he has ever given up in a soccer-related situation.
Well, Messi if you are reading this understand what I’m about to say. Argentina is your homeland and you have played there for practically a decade, so why are you giving up now? Patriotism is something you should embrace and not retire from at age 30.
There are some things more important than you. An entire nation is riding on you to give them a World Cup, and you can’t quit on them. The decision you have made has just told the world that you care more about yourself then you do your country.
So, as soccer and sports in general become increasingly self-centered remember this. You are never more important than a nation rallying behind you, and you should never give up on them because they will never give up on you.