Last summer it was Lionel Messi who stepped away from international football after the failure of international football. He came back but just over a year later one of his tormentors Arturo Vidal has hung up his international boots.

Just over a year ago for the second summer in a row Lionel Messi was unable to finally put to rest the arguments about him doing nothing at international level as Argentina again lost the Copa America final to Chile on penalties.

Last night might have seen the end of Messi's career with Argentina for a second time as the two time World Cup winners were on the verge of not going to the 2018 version next summer.

Vidal and teammate Isla kiss the trophy that made Messi retire. Image: PA

However the results instead led to Chile being knocked out as Argentina won to claim the third spot and Colombia and Peru to draw fourth and fifth. Leaving Chile out of the reckoning.

That result has led Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal to retire from international football and the former Juventus man left an emotional message for fans on Twitter:

"Many thanks to all for everything!! Throughout all these years I gave my life in every match [and] learned [a lot] and taught a country that with a little bit of strength and hard work everything is possible!!!

"My soul is destroyed but at the same time proud of these players and technical staff!!!"

Last night was Vidal's 97th match for La Roja and he scored 23 times for the national team in that time. He would have reached the 100 cap mark in the build up to the World Cup.

An emotional Vidal after the Confederations Cup final in the summer, there won't be another trip to Russia next summer. Image: PA

Before last night all the talk had been about Messi and Argentina and in the build up Vidal had even said, "The best players in the world should go to the World Cup, and I want Messi to go, because he's the best in the world."

It is a cruel irony that Messi going through meant that such a gent and class act of the footballing world had to miss out as a swap.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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