You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lionel Messi casts doubts over playing in 2026 FIFA World Cup at 39: 'It seems to be too much'

Free Press Journal logo Free Press Journal 03-02-2023
© Provided by Free Press Journal

Buenos Aires: Lionel Messi may be in doubt as to whether he'll be still playing for Argentina at the 2026 World Cup but he's sure about one thing: he wants Lionel Scaloni to stay on as head coach until then, regardless. The 35-year-old Messi led Argentina to the title in Qatar last December and wasn't entirely sure if his fifth trip to the World Cup would be his last. The next edition will take place in Mexico, Canada and the United States when Messi is 39.

Lionel Messi drops retirement hint: 'I got everything in my career, there's nothing left'

Messi told newspaper Olé in an interview published on Thursday that he'd regularly said his age would make it difficult to play another World Cup. "I love playing soccer, I love what I do and while I am feeling well and feel I am fit and continue to enjoy it, I will do it. But it seems to be too much until the next World Cup," he told the newspaper. "I have to see where my career goes, what I will do. It depends on many things." In the near future, he suggested he wants to play in next year's Copa America in the US to help Argentina defend its title. "I will stay a little longer, I have to enjoy this," he said.

Lionel Messi speaks out on controversial tie against Netherlands at the FIFA World Cup 2022: 'I don't like what I did'

Scaloni is negotiating an extension of his contract with the Argentinian soccer federation and Messi thinks the coach should remain on the job. "He is very important for the national team," Messi said. "To continue with this process would be spectacular." Asked what it was like returning to his club París Saint Germain after Argentina beat France on penalties to win the World Cup, Messi said he didn't have deep discussions about it with his teammate Kylian Mbappé, the French striker.

"One doesn't want to speak and bring the topic of the final," Messi said, recalling his own experience after losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany in Brazil. "I was also on the other side, I lost a World Cup final and I didn't want to talk about it. Truth is there is no problem with Kylian, quite on the contrary," Messi said.

French League: Lionel Messi scores as PSG moves 5 points clear, Mbappe suffers injury

Messi is set to play for Argentina in friendlies to be scheduled in Buenos Aires in March to celebrate the team's third World Cup title with their fans.

Watch Video: Cristiano Ronaldo taunted with Messi chants following Al Nassr's loss to Al Ittihad

(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )

(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here.  To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

More from Free Press Journal

Free Press Journal
Free Press Journal
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon