Argentina's Di Maria announces international retirement after Copa America

 In a heartfelt declaration that spans through 15 years of illustrious international service, Argentina's revered forward, Angel Di Maria, announced his retirement from international football, setting the stage for a poignant farewell post the 2023 Copa America.

At 35 years old, Di Maria's decision marks the culmination of a remarkable journey that saw him amass 136 appearances for the world champions since his debut in 2008. His storied career encompasses four World Cups, including a pivotal goal in the 2022 final triumph against France, etching his name in the annals of Argentine football history.

The forthcoming Copa America, scheduled from June 20 to July 14 in the United States, will witness Di Maria don the national colors for the last time as he aims to cap off his international career with a successful defense of Argentina's continental title. The tournament becomes a stage for fans worldwide to witness the final act of a football virtuoso's international odyssey.

"The Copa America will be the last time I wear the Argentina shirt," Di Maria wrote on his Instagram account.

"With all the pain in my soul and feeling a lump in my throat, I say goodbye to the most beautiful thing that happened to me in my career.

"I can't express in words how much the cheering of the fans has filled my soul in this last match, I enjoyed every second of with my team mates and friends," he added, referring to his last World Cup qualifier in which Argentina beat Brazil

Di Maria's return to Portuguese champions Benfica in the current year marks a sentimental reunion with the club where he first made his mark in European football from 2007 to 2010. His journey spans across illustrious clubs like Real Madrid, Paris St Germain, Juventus, and Manchester United, underscoring the global impact of his prodigious talent.

As the football maestro takes this momentous step, the announcement not only invites reflection on his individual contributions but also serves as a testament to the enduring legacy he leaves behind. Di Maria's retirement adds a poignant layer to the upcoming Copa America, transforming it into a celebration of a football icon's remarkable international journey.

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