Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts after losing the championship match between Argentina and Chile at MetLife Stadium as part of Copa America Centenario US 2016 on June 26, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, US. (Photo by Chris Szagola/LatinContent/Getty Images)
LatinContent/STR—LatinContent/Getty Images
By Cady Lang
June 27, 2016

For better or worse, the Internet wastes no time in capitalizing on the emotions of athletes. This proved to be the case for Argentina’s Lionel Messi, the veritable GOAT of international soccer, when his tears after a heart-breaking loss to Chile in the Copa America championship quickly went viral, placing him in the ranks of other athletes whose crying moments have become legendary memes.

The “Crying Jordan” meme of Michael Jordan at his 2009 induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame has become a ubiquitous sight on sports Twitter, but other crying athletes have quickly joined him as the Internet’s favorite way to express the full range of human emotions.

From Messi to Jordan, we’ve rounded up the most memorable crying athlete memes of all time, below.

Write to Cady Lang at


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