Nevertheless, he takes comfort that he was beaten by a talent out of this world and can see the Barcelona forward continuing his own terrific goal scoring form for his country, which will double his own total and unlikely to be ever exceeded. It was a title that I held.
Since Messi overtook Batistuta in the scoring charts at last summer's Copa America, the former Fiorentina player nicknamed "Batigol" has had to change his chat up line. "It's not just any old thing", he whined. You go around the world and people say, "he's the top scorer for the Argentina national team". Lionel has more and will get nearly double what I did.
The Barcelona star missed in the penalty shootout defeat to Chile as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.
The Rosario-born Messi did make headlines as he lifted Argentina into next year's World Cup by scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 win at Ecuador on October 11, his team's final qualifier.
"(Retiring) was a decision I made in the heat of the moment", Messi told DirectTV Sports.
While the performance underlined Messi's importance to his national team, another Argentina great, Mario Kempes, says the Albiceleste rely too much on their superstar and warns that must change if the country is to have any success at next year's big event in Russian Federation. "When they criticise me, I experience it differently", Messi added.