Lionel Messi's retirement announcement from international football on Monday shocked the football world.
In India, the tremors were felt the most perhaps in Kerala, sending across a wave of sadness. Messi fans woke up to the news on Monday morning and went into mourning - and took to social media.
Many fan pages on Facebook were abuzz as Messi fans debated on the decision, so much so that a Malayalam hashtag #മെസ്സിവിരമിക്കരുത്, which roughly translates to ‘Messi shoudn’t retire’ has begun to do rounds on Facebook.
Here are a few comments in which fans have poured their hearts out.
“I spent sleepless nights, not to see Argentina’s stupid game, but to see you playing around with a ball like a dancer”.
“We don’t want to win the war; we just want our Prince back”.
“He will not retire. Messi please go through our Sachin's career. He got World Cup in the last phase of your career. Messi, we need you”.
“We never expected this decision dear Messi. This is worse than losing in the finals”.
Probably the craziest of the comments was when a user set out to give some gyaan to Messi and lead him through the right path.
Declaring that he respects Messi in spite of not being a fan of Argentina team and probably in an attempt to make Messi sound like his next-door-neighbour, the user writes, “Messi bro, you should not be affected by failures in life, but should aspire to work harder.”
No, the generous dose of advice does not end there. The user goes on to suggest Messi to watch the Malayalam film ‘Vikramadithyan’ and learn from Dulquer (who plays a central role in the film) to overcome barriers in life.
However, after the initial shock faded off, memes have surfaced on the retirement saga and in came a mention of sports minister EP Jayarajan who called Muhammad Ali a Keralite.
This is what Twitter users had to say:
Kerala Sports minister E P Jayarajan asks Mohun Bagan not to let Messi retire.— NumbYaar (@NumbYaar) June 27, 2016
Waiting for Kerala sports minister to say "Messi was a pride of Kerala."— masood abbasi (@faamex) June 27, 2016
Meanwhile, former football player IM Vijayan was quoted as saying that both Argentina losing the game and Messi's retirement is unfortunate. However, he added that Messi shouldn’t have retired at this point, as his fans are looking forward to seeing him win the cup for Argentina.
“Messi shouldn’t have retired now. If he had retired after Argentina won the game, I wouldn’t have been as disappointed as I am now. He has never underperformed and it is heartbreaking to know that he will never wear that jersey again,” he said.
“Even at the age of 29, Messi is an exceptional player. There is no other player like him and there never will be," he added.