Argentina's Lionel Messi grateful for support after Copa America defeat
Lionel Messi has thanked Argentina's fans for their support following Saturday's Copa America final defeat to Chile.
Argentina captain Messi, 28, was aiming for his first major title with the senior team but after both sides failed to score in both normal and extra time, Chile beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties to win the competition for the first time in their history.
Barcelona star Messi finished the tournament with one goal in six games but he and Jorge Valdivia of Chile finished as the competition's joint leaders in assists with three apiece.
Messi did not speak to the media after the final and reportedly turned down the award as the most valuable player of the tournament.
However, currently on holiday in his home town of Rosario, Messi has written on his Facebook page: "There's nothing more painful in football than losing a final.
"But I don't want to leave it any longer to say thank you to everyone who has always supported us and continued to during the tough moments."
The forward had hoped to complete a remarkable season with Barcelona by adding silverware with the national team.
Last summer, Messi and Argentina lost to Germany in extra time of the World Cup final in Brazil.
A four-time World Player of the Year, Messi bounced back and was inspirational for Barca, helping win the Primera Division, Champions League and Copa del Rey in the 2014-15, scoring a total of 60 goals and setting up 28 more in 60 appearances.
Messi has captured titles while a member of Argentina's youth teams -- he won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2005 and the Olympic Gold medal three years later.
Since making his international senior team bow for Argentina 10 years ago, Messi has scored 46 goals in 103 appearances.
Argentina sports newspaper Ole reports that Messi is considering taking a break from the national team, with the player reportedly upset by criticism he has received in his country for not replicating his form at Barcelona.