Argentina captain Lionel Messi is the best player of all-time, according to Chile head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi.
Chile beat Argentina on penalties in the final of the Copa America for a second successive year last night, with Messi announcing his retirement from international football after full-time.
It was the fourth final of his international career – his third in as many years – but having lost all of them, Messi has called time on his international career – just days after becoming their all-time leading scorer with 55 goals.
Despite his failure to end Argentina’s 23-year trophy drought, Messi – who missed Argentina’s opening spot-kick in the shootout and was in tears at full-time – has been hailed as the greatest player ever.
“On top of having an admiration for Messi, I’m driven very much by the numbers,” Pizzi told reporters, as reported by Goal. “Because I know what it means to value certain numbers and Messi’s numbers are unmatched, and I don’t think they will ever be matched because it’s impossible for a player to find the things that Messi finds.
“The people, at times, are very particular when it comes to valuing certain things.
“I do it from a point of view that’s very personal — everyone should do so from a personal point of view — and in my point of view Messi is the best player of all time.”
Argentina last won a major title in 1993 so Messi’s anguish was clear after going so close to ending that long drought once again.
He sent his penalty high over the crossbar as Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo went wrong way and the mood seemed to shift within the stadium immediately.
Messi’s sudden retirement from international football seems to have triggered an exodus of players within the squad too, with reports emerging that Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Mascherano are all considering ending their international careers.
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