Argentinian national team's former fitness coach Elvio Paolorosso has described the emotional roller-coaster that Lionel Messi went through after losing in the Copa America final against Chile in 2016.
The Barcelona legend was seen breaking down to tears after the final whistle right up until he received his runners-up medal after the painful defeat.
Speaking to Marca about what conjured in the immediate aftermath of that loss in the Copa, Paolorosso said, "The dressing room after the Copa America was very painful, but the worst was to come."
Revealing the extreme psychological pain Messi went through for many days after the loss, Paolorosso stated, "At 2 in the morning, more or less, I went to the store room and found Leo [Messi] completely alone, crying like a kid who lost his mother."
The former fitness coach went on to claim, "He was (Messi) distraught and nobody could console him. I gave him a hug and we both cried together. What else could you do? I had Messi in Barcelona and Argentina and all I have for him are words of gratitude. He always cooperated well and even noticed if the pitch was hard or soft."
As an immediate effect of that penalty miss and Argentina's loss, Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international football in 2016 by famously stating, "For me, the national team is over."
However, he did make a comeback from retirement and also featured in the World Cup in Russia where he led Argentina to the round of 16. Messi's side was defeated by eventual world champions France.