LIONEL MESSI is set to retire from international football after Argentina crashed out of the World Cup.
The Barcelona superstar saw his dreams of lifting the game’s ultimate prize come to an end after Argentina suffered a 4-3 defeat to France in the last-16 stage.
According to the Daily Mirror, Messi will now bring the curtain down on his international career.
The 31-year-old retired from Argentina duty in 2016 before returning ahead of the World Cup qualification campaign.
Argentina suffered an agonising defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final while he also lost in three Copa America finals.
Messi’s team-mate Javier Mascherano has already announced his retirement from international duty after the defeat to France.
“It’s time to say goodbye, it’s time to support from outside,” he said.
“I hope that in the future these boys can achieve something.”
Argentina were ahead in the second half before a stunning collapse against a Kylian Mbappe-inspired France.
Angel Di Maria and Gabriel Mercado goals cancelled out Antoine Griezmann’s first-half penalty but Benjamin Pavard levelled the scores with a wonder strike.
Mbappe made it 3-2 moments to France later before securing the win with his second goal.
Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back in injury time but the South American’s wasted a chance with the last kick of the game.
Argentina’s World Cup campaign never really got off the ground and manager Jorge Sampaoli is now expected to lose his job.
He said: ”This is very painful, especially because the players have made a huge effort.
“It was a very difficult game but we have not achieved our goal here in Russia. I’m sad, I’m frustrated – I think that’s quite normal.
“I won’t decide my future today.”
France boss Didier Deschamps was delighted with the performance of his young side.
He said: ”Our team is much younger, but it’s there. We answered the call, we have a lot of character and it was not easy as we were leading, then there was an equaliser, then we were 2-1 behind, but we kept fighting.
“There is an excellent mentality in this group and we did everything to go further. Since I am responsible for everything, particularly when it doesn’t go well, I’m very proud