By Michelle Kaufman
Sitting here on a Monday afternoon, wondering: Is Iceland REALLY beating England 2-1 in a Euro 2016 knockout game? Whaaaaaat? Iceland? A nation of 330,000 (would rank 58th among US Cities) is beating a nation of 51 million? WOW! Some clever Iceland fans were shown carrying a banner that read: "Brexit, Volume 2!"
Speaking of exits....
Was I hearing things, or did Lionel Messi say late last night that he is retiring from the Argentine national team? Apparently, that is what he was contemplating as he sat all alone on the bench, staring ahead, after Chile's dramatic penalty shootout win in the Copa America Centenario final. Messi, who rarely misses in penalty kick shootouts, missed Argentina's first attempt against Chile, and hid his face inside his world-famous No. 10 jersey. Three major finals in a row -- 2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America, 2016 Copa America Centenario -- and no trophy for La Albiceleste.
The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, 29, has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish club Barcelona. But his only major title in an Argentina shirt is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games.
This is what he told reporters after the loss to Chile:
"For me, the national team is over. I've done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.
"It's been four finals, I tried.
"It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over.
"I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, then for everyone.
"I think there's a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.
"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back."
Do you think he's serious? You think he's played his last game in an Argentina shirt? VOTE HERE...
Time will tell if it was just emotions talking, or if he'll follow through.
If he does, it would be a crying shame. Despite criticism from dissatisfied Argentine fans, Messi is, quite simply, the best player in the world right now. He scored five goals in this Copa America Centenario, including a brilliant free kick in the 4-0 semifinal win over the United States. That goal was No. 55 for him, giving him the all-time record over Gabriel Batistuta.
The debate about Who is Argentina's Best Player of All Time will continue. Many say Diego Maradona because he was able to win a World Cup. Messi, despite all his individual and club accolades, has not been able to bring home trophies for his country. And, for that, he clearly feels awful. He feels far worse than any of the fans who have been vilifying him, that's for sure.
Maybe his threat of retirement will make Argentine fans appreciate him more. Some newspaper covers indicated as much Monday:
Meanwhile, other players said they hope he reconsiders.
Argentina and Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero said: "I think he spoke while he was heated, because a beautiful opportunity escaped us," said Romero. "I can't imagine a national team without Messi."
Sergio Aguero hinted others may follow Messi's lead.
"There are several players who are evaluating not continuing with the national team. It is the worst defeat ever, worse than the two other finals. So the thinking is it might be time to make room for other players."
Argentine newspaper La Nacion wrote that Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuaín also may retire.
If anybody should be criticized for Argentina's losses in recent big games, it should be Higuaín, who blew a 1v1 chance against Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo Sunday night, and also missed a chance against Germany at the 2014 World Cup final and a penalty kick against Chile last summer.
But for now, all the talk is about Messi and his possible "Mexit"