On Saturday four France goals ended Lionel Messi's fourth World Cup and may have brought down the curtain on an international career seemed destined to end in disappointment.
Tens of thousands of Argentines poured into Kazan hoping to see Messi carry an ageing side over one more hurdle after his solitary goal in Russia helped avoid an embarrassing group-stage exit against Nigeria.
In the last-16 tie, he played his part with two assists in a World Cup classic but it was not enough to save Argentina's fragile defence from the firepower of France and, in particular, 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe in a 4-3 defeat.
Messi before heading to Russia said to a daily newspaper that "It will depend on how we do, how it ends," whether he would continue on the international stage after the World Cup. The last 16 is the earliest he has exited the competition.
Having turned 31 earlier in the tournament, it looks increasingly like defeat in the final four years ago is as close as he will come to matching Diego Maradona's feat of leading Argentina to glory in 1986.
"It is not easy and has to be appreciated. It's true that winning them is important, but getting it is not easy."
He plays well or not he will always be a star footballer and a shining star of Argentina. His fans won't be imagining the football world cup without him. He should continue with his international career in Football.