Lionel Messi: “I think I played my last World Cup”

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Lionel Messi has spoken about his Argentina and World Cup future.

Messi is presently with the Argentina national team in Beijing for their match on June 15 against Australia. The World Cup winner sat down with China TV where he spoke about his future with the team and if he will play at the next World Cup. Here is what he had to say:

“As I said before, I don’t think I will participate in the next World Cup. I don’t know what will happen in the future but I haven’t changed my mind about it. I would like to be there to see it, but I’m not going to participate.

“After achieving the World Cup, which was what I was missing, I am satisfied and grateful for the career I have had. And that is the most important thing for me. I think I played my last World Cup.”

31 Comments

  1. I believe Messi’s decision is for the better of the team and Scaloni should start planning ahead. Time sometimes is very unfair but that’s the reality
    Should Messi had decided to represent NT come 2026, i fear likes of Dimaria, Otamedi would also feel obliged to participate too. All those players will be past 38 years come 2026 and that would be to the teams detriment.

    However I am 80% sure these players will participate in 2026 unless injuries occur: Emi Martinez, Cuti Romero, Lisandro, Molina, Montiel, Facundo Medina, Foyth, McAlister, Enzo, Locelso, DePaul, Exequiel Palacios, Nico Gonzalez, Lautaro, Alvarez, Garnacho, Dybala.
    That gives you 17 players, meaning there will be a deficit of 6-9 players, depending on whether FIFA adopt 23/ 26 man squad. Tagliafico and Acuna will be approaching 35, i don’t know if they will be able to maintain their top level. Let’s be realistic things are tough ahead.

  2. Great decision (if he sticks to it that is). One shoudn’t overstay their welcome and become a hinderance to their team, infact I would’ve liked it if Messi had retired after the world cup but I guess Copa could be his swan song. The important thing is that the NT learns to move on without him as quickly as possible because I really don’t want to see Argentina take the route that Italy and Germany took after winning their world cups *shudders*, I mean talk about falling from grace.

  3. Thanks for everything King Leo. Interesting to see who will be the new captain? I think it will one of RDP, Dibu, Paredes or Lo Celso. Or a Rotation between those 4 depending on who’s on the pitch. After Messi, I see Scaloni tweaking tactics to the players at his disposal. It will be interesting to see how a Messi-less Argentina will perform as champions.

    • The personality of Licha is better suited for the captaincy. He is always motivating his team mates. Lo Celso is too shy. De Paul is an option. Dibu had too much negative publicity after his post final antics. Paredes lost his place in the starting line-up.

  4. Lío is doing the right thing. His legacy is cemented. He left the World Cup as a winner on his teammates shoulders. He can finish at the copa if he wants but his WC legacy should always be remembered by the final images of Qatar

  5. Thanks boss miss u always.thanks for every thing.thanks our love our capten and our world champion.and because of you and because of entire team efforts we are all the world champions.thanks Allah.thank you so much sir.and love you always sir.

  6. i think his time at PSG nailed the coffin. With all the stress, booing, name calling, threats, etc towards the end of his career, i’m sure it played a role in his decision to throw in the towel.

  7. We will need to wait another 36 years after Messi alike player comes and win us World Cup. I do not see any one close to Messi or Maradona level in Argentina NT. Sad but most of players are overrated bums like Lautauro. Only saving grace is Garanacho but idiot is a CR fan and mostly active on Social Media than on footballing field.

  8. Messi can say all he wants about retiring but competitors never accept it. He did it before and came back. Jordan retired and came back. Tom Brady retired and came back.

    I find it hard to believe that he will play in the United States (MLS) and retire when the next World Cup will be in the USA. Sure, he can be a global ambassador for US soccer, but he can be that playing as a defending champion as well. One of the World Cup stadiums is Hard Rock in Miami, FL.

    Either way, the NT is in safe hands with Enzo, Alvarez, Garnacho, & Claudio Echeverri.

  9. Leo is irreplaceable 🐐👑…it will be tough to watch the WC without him…but our future is in safe hands 🤝….I’ll prefer this starting lineup for the wc if all the player keep their form & Dibu should be our captain 👍

    Emi (C)
    Molina Romero Licha Tagliafico
    De paul Enzo Macalister
    Dybala Alvarez Lo celso
    🔥🔥

  10. I started supporting Argentina in 1982 i was 9 years old…Will surely support Argentina after he retires.
    Players come and Go…One National team that we love… the future is in safe hands.
    Thanks Leo for everything.
    F.

  11. At first, I wished Messi would retire from the NT after the ’22 WC so the last impression of him wearing the shirt would be him lifting the throphy. A true fairy tale ending. Playing in Copa ’24 is a gamble as a faulty VAR decision could ruin the outcome. However, Diego’s early exit from ’94 WC did not ruin his legacy. Also, who remember Michael Jordan’s two last years with Washington Wizards? Did not impact his legacy at all. So, I hope Leo will enjoy his last dance with the NT, finally without any pressure.

  12. Sad. But everything has an end. We can’t replace him. Without his performance, we would not have been world champion in 2023.
    Yes, in 2026 he will be old. 39. He already resigned from European football. He will lose the level by 39. He doesn’t want to be a problem for NT. So, I understand. Stop when you are on top.
    His last best will be in Copa 2024. Many of our players will retire after Copa. Team will have huge changes after. A new team with young players.

  13. Yes please retire after COPA 24 but our future is not bright with players like Lautro who disappoint in big games.

    • “The future is not bright” how you figure? Martinez is the not the whole team. ARG as we speak is not the same team as it was just few years ago. Defense, midfield, strikers are full of talent PLUS Debu!!
      Nobody can replace Messi but that doesn’t mean the rest won’t step up and perform like they should given what they bring to the table.

      • Alvarez, Enzo, MacA, Romero, Licha, Molina and Lautaro will be in peak years in 2026. Garnacho, Buonanotte, Lo Celso, Gonzalez will be excellent additions, and I hope Dybala can take the Messi role. Then suddenly 2026 team looks even stronger than the ’22 team, despite losing Messi.

      • It is not about the team. It is about the coach and the story around which he rallies the team. Scaloni made the whole team toil around the story of the legend Messi. It would be interesting to see what story he makes his team fight for in 2026. This time Belgium had a great team. So did Germany, Spain and Portugal. Almost all their players burn their last bit for the clubs they play for. But their coaches could not build a cohesive togetherness. Scaloni could, Deschamps could, Regragui could. If Morocco had a Messi or a MBappe, the final would have been between Argentina and Morocco. I am have a nightmare that Enzo, Lisandro, Alvarez, McAllister, Garnacho would burn themselves out at the club level leaving little scope for Scaloni. I wish I am wrong. But Scaloni needs to wave his magic wand on fresh players who are not in big clubs like he did last time – Nico, Almada, Tagliafico, Lautaro et al would be the next set to depend on.

      • We will need to wait another 36 years after Messi alike player comes and win us World Cup. I do not see any one close to Messi or Maradona level in Argentina NT. Sad but most of players are overrated bums like Lautauro. Only saving grace is Garanacho.

  14. Messi does not need to play the next world cup after the copa America he should be retire from the national team there’s is nothing more he needs to do or prove anymore it’s time.

  15. I think Copa is what he has his site set on. Win or lose, he is out after that. I hope Scaloni brings Echeverri into the mix sooner rather than later. I think he can be a wonderful talent. I think Scaloni is already planning for the next wc, Armani being excluded is a warning sign to all that your spot must be earned.

  16. As much as we are grateful that Messi is an Argentine, I appreciate his decision. It is better to retire when u are on the top as a champ than anything.

    Hope Copa America 2024 will be his last game and then he gives 2 full years to Scaloni to prepare for a team for the WC without Messi (and Di Maria, Otamendi, Armani, Pezzella, etc). It’d be amazing if we won the Copa America again and Messi retires after that.

    It wouldn’t be good if Messi retires from international football like 6 months before the WC for example, it would ruin the mental of the team.

  17. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen a sec from now, nm 3 years from now and I doubt many truly thought he’ll be available in 2026 for the WC. Messi completed football and won everything a player could win for club and country and it’s time to move on once Copa concludes IF not earlier.

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