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Lionel Messi Gives Huge Update on Being Asked if He's Playing 2026 FIFA World Cup

News18 03-02-2023 Sports Desk

Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to their third World Cup trophy, his first, after beating France in the final at Qatar 2022 back in December.

Messi scored twice as Argentina drew 3-3 with France in the Qatar final, before prevailing in the penalty shoot-out. Messi’s virtuoso performance sealed his status as one of the greatest players of all time, joining fellow icons Pele and Diego Maradona in an elite group.

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Messi had a memorable World Cup campaign in Qatar as he netted 7 goals and provided three assists to light up the tournament and revived Argentina's campaign after their shock defeat in the opener against Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup final has gone down as a modern classic, coming to the conclusion of one of the most controversial tournaments ever staged.

Messi finally lifted the trophy in his fifth World Cup tournament, having lost in the 2014 final to Germany.

Lionel Messi with the 2022 FIFA World Cup (Twitter) © Provided by News18 Lionel Messi with the 2022 FIFA World Cup (Twitter)

It appears now that he is open to the possibility of playing in the 2026 event.

“Because of age it’ll be difficult to make 2026,” Messi, 35, told Diario Ole, a sports newspaper in Argentina. “I love playing football and while I feel like I’m in good shape and enjoying this, I’m going to keep at it. It seems like a long time until the next World Cup, but it depends on how my career is going.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni would love to see the superstar — who is one of only six players to compete in five World Cups — suit up for the next World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“I think Messi can make it to the next World Cup,” Scaloni told Spanish radio Calvia FM last month. “It will depend a lot on what he wants and what happens over time, that he feels good. The doors will always be open. He is happy on the pitch, and for us (it) would be good.”

After scoring seven goals in the 2022 World Cup, Messi could become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer if he suits up in 2026. He has 13 goals, three behind record-holder Miroslav Klose of Germany.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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