Lionel Messi with a replica of the World Cup trophy during celebrations after a friendly match against Panama at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, March 23, 2023.
Beijing – Star footballer Lionel Messi does not expect to play in the World Cup in three years, where Argentina will defend the title. The 35-year-old forward said this in an interview with Titan Sports in China.
Messi captained Argentina to their first title since 1986 at the Qatar Championship last year and indicated in February that he would like to compete in the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Now however, he changed his mind. “We will see how everything develops, but in principle it is true that I will not go to the next World Cup. Qatar was my last championship,” said Messi, who retired from the national team in 2016, but later returned.
< p>The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, who will play in Beijing with the national team in a friendly against Australia on Thursday, recently announced his departure from Paris St. Germain to Inter Miami in the overseas MLS.
Before that, Messi spent a highly successful 17 years at Barcelona, where he met coach Pep Guardiola. The Spanish coach led Manchester City to their first ever Champions League triumph at the weekend.
“We're in touch a lot and I'm happy he was able to win it. He's the best coach in the world. I don't think he even needed to win the Champions League, to confirm it, but only to underline how special he is,” Messi said.