Five-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi, on Monday became the latest superstar player to abruptly quit international football.
The Argentina skipper made the shocking decision after failing to lead his country to glory at the 2016 Copa America in the United States of America.
Messi, who only turned 29 on Friday, June 24, enjoys a trophy-laden club career with Barcelona but failed in the regard with the Albiceleste.
His decision was greeted with displeasure especially in Argentina, but is the talismanic forward alone in this?
Here, we examine five other players who took the bold decision to retire from international football while they still had miles on their legs.
- Paul Scholes
The midfielder who cited his family and club career as his major reasons said prior to his retirement: “This is a decision I have not taken lightly. I have been considering retiring from international football for a while.”
Scholes went on to play an extra nine years for Manchester United before retiring from the game in 2013.
- Samir Nasri
The Manchester City forward who made his senior debut in 2008 bowed out after six years, aged 27.
“With the national team I didn’t win anything. So it’s more easy to take this decision than if we’d just won something,” the former Arsenal man said in 2014.
- Philipp Lahm
Lahm, who made 113 appearances for the Die Mannschaft between 2004 and 2014, aged 30 said of his decision: “Over the course of last season, I made up my mind that I was going to end my international career after the World Cup.
“I am happy and thankful that the end of my national team career coincided with winning the World Cup in Brazil.”
- Vincent Enyeama
The Lille shot-stopper who made over a century of appearances for Nigeria within 13 years, retired aged 32 after an irreconcilable difference with then coach, Sunday Oliseh.
“I have fought a good fight for more than 13 years. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith and sang the anthem with passion,” he said.
- John Terry
Terry’s decision to end his nine-year stint with the Three Lions came in 2012, aged 31 with 78 caps.
He said the FA’s decision to pursue charges against him meant his position with England had become “untenable”.