Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero believes captain Lionel Messi’s announcement to retire from international football is just in the heat of the moment following Sunday’s loss in the Copa America Centenario final.
Messi was unsuccessful from the spot as Argentina went down 4-2 to defending champions Chile on penalties following a goalless 120 minutes in New Jersey, which saw two red cards in the first half.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner and Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer was visibly dejected post-match, quickly making public his intention to retire from international duty after a third consecutive final defeat, but Romero does not think his team-mate will follow through in walking away.
“I think Leo spoke heatedly, because we’ve let a good opportunity escape,” Romero told reporters.
“He has the same thoughts as us.”
All eyes were on Argentina at MetLife Stadium amid their 23-year wait for a major title.
And things might have panned out differently for Argentina had Gonzalo Higuain made the most of his golden opportunity early in the first half.
Instead, Argentina’s Marcos Rojo was sent off shortly after Marcelo Diaz saw red as the decider headed to extra time, with Claudio Bravo somehow denying Sergio Aguero in the dying stages.
Bravo was at it again in the shoot-out, making the decisive save to thwart Lucas Biglia after Messi skied his effort over the crossbar as Francisco Silva netted the winning penalty.