Argentina’s World Cup campaign came to an end after being edged out of a seven-goal thriller against France
Dejected Lionel Messi was comforted by his wife as he arrived home following Argentina’s World Cup exit.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner was unable to prevent his country going down 4-3 against France on Saturday as their campaign in Russia was brought to a premature halt.
Messi and Javier Mascherano travelled separately from their Argentina team-mates as they headed back to Spain instead of the 18-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
The 31-year-old snubbed reporters as he arrived at Barcelona airport on Sunday as his partner Antonella Roccuzzo waited outside to collect him in a Range Rover.
Messi endured a disappointing tournament, missing a penalty in the shock draw with Iceland in their opening game, with his only goal coming in the 2-1 win against Nigeria will sealed their place in the knockout stages.
As well as losing the World Cup final four years ago, Messi has tasted defeat in the final of the Copa America on three occasions.
He previously announced his retirement from international football in 2016, only to reverse his decision ahead of qualifying for this year’s World Cup.
His future with the national team is under the spotlight again as he considers quitting the international stage for a second time.
Meanwhile, Jorge Sampaoli has reportedly quit as manager after their last-16 exit – following a meeting with his bosses.
Sampaoli took over as Argentina boss last June after Edgardo Bauza was sacked with the country facing missing out on qualifying for Russia.