In a recent interview with Chinese media outlet Titan Sports, Lionel Messi expressed that he is unlikely to participate in the 2026 FIFA World Cup which is to be held in Canada, Mexico and United States.
The 35 year old Albeceleste captain hit the summit of world football on 18 December, 2022, by leading his country to their 3rd World Cup triumph. Lionel Messi scored seven goals and assisted three at the footballing mainevent.
Over Messi’s World Cup success, the Argentine remains as one of the top contender for the Ballon D’or 2023, but the seven Ballon D’or also insisted that it is no longer important to him.
Lionel Messi sealed the golden ball at Qatar, by beating Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric and became the only player in history to win it two times. Messi snubbed the rumours of his move to Saudi Arabia and his former club Barcelona by confirming his imminent move to MLS side Inter Miami, this putting an end to his tumultuous time at PSG. Also read: Arsenal Transfer News: Kai Havertz is now a key target alongside Declan Rice
Messi is currently training with the national side in China, “I think not. This was my last World Cup, I’ll see how things go but in principle, I won’t go to the next World Cup.” Messi told Chinese media outlet Titan Sports ahead of Argentina’s friendly against Australia in Beijing.
The ex-Barcelona man also took the opportunity to congratulate his former coach Pep Guardiola, Guardiola finally won his long due European silverware with Manchester City on 10 June in Istanbul.
“I talk a lot with Pep as we still maintain frequent contact. I am very happy about his achievements,” Messi said.
“He is the best coach in the world, and although, in my opinion, he didn’t need to win this Champions League title to prove that, it further demonstrates that he is the world’s top coach, which is an achievement he deserves.”
Messi was pursuaded out of his retirement by his teammates in 2016 after Argentina’s heartbreak in the Copa America, his fans from around the world will be hoping for some similar considerations. Argentina coach Scaloni feels the time is right to make such a call – but he won’t be closing the door for Messi.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of Thursday’s friendly clash against Australia, Scaloni told reporters: “His statements seem to me to be very prudent and he is not lying. The reality is that he’s going to see what happens. We’re going to follow his progress and I think it’s the logical thing to do. The World Cup is so far away and he is very cautious. The important thing is that he feels good and that he wants to play. With the passage of time we will see how he is and if he feels up to it, which is the important thing because he will know how to play football today and in ten years’ time.”
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