Lionel Messi Hints at International Retirement, in Doubt to Defend World Cup Title in 2026

Lionel Messi may have doubts whether he will still play for Argentina at the 2026 World Cup, but he is certain of one thing: He wants Lionel Scaloni to stay on as head coach until then, regardless. Messi, 35, led Argentina to the title in Qatar last December and was not quite sure whether 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.

Messi told in an interview to the newspaper Ole It was published on Thursday (2 February) that he regularly said his age would make it difficult to play another World Cup. “I love playing football, I love what I do and I will do it when I feel good and feel I am fit and continue to enjoy it. But it looks like the next It is too much till the World Cup. “I have to see where my career goes, what I will do. It depends on many things.”

In the near future, he suggested that he would like to play in the Copa America in the US next year to help Argentina defend their title. “I’ll stay a little longer, I’ve got to enjoy it,” he said.

Scaloni is in talks with the Argentine Football Federation to extend his contract and Messi believes the coach should stay on. Messi said, ‘He is very important for the national team. “It would be fantastic to keep this process going.”

Asked what it was like returning to his club Paris Saint-Germain after Argentina beat France on penalties to win the World Cup, Messi said he discussed it deeply with his teammate Kylian Mbappe, the French striker. did not discuss

“Nobody wants to speak and bring up the subject of the final,” Messi recalled his experience after Brazil lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany. “I was also on the other side, I had lost the World Cup final and I didn’t want to talk about it. The truth is that there is no problem with Kylian, quite the contrary,” Messi said.

Messi is set to play for Argentina in a friendly in Buenos Aires in March to celebrate the team’s third World Cup title with his fans.

(With PTI inputs)

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