- The 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar will be the last of Lionel Messi’s legendary football career.
- The 35-year-old previously announced retirement from international football in 2016 after Argentina lost the Copa America finals to Chile.
Lionel Messi is set to play for Argentina at the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar later this year.
The talented playmaker has confirmed that this year’s tournament will be the final World Cup of his career. Lionel Messi announced the plans for his future with Argentina while speaking to ESPN.
Whether he stops playing for Argentina immediately after the World Cup remains to be seen, but he made it clear that he won’t be continuing on until 2026.
Lionel Messi previously announced his retirement from international football in 2016 after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America finals.
However, he reversed his decision and has since been the captain of Argentina.
Lionel Messi told ESPN that he is counting the days to the World Cup. The Paris Saint-Germain playmaker is nervous about what will happen at the Qatar tournament.
The former FC Barcelona star said that Argentina are not the favourites to win this year’s tournament. However, Messi believes that the South American nation is always a candidate for the World Cup because of its history.
“It’s my last World Cup, surely. I’m counting down the days to the World Cup. There is anxiety and nerves at the same time. Wanting it to be now, what is going to happen, and ultimately, how is it going to go? I don’t know if we’re the favourites, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history. Now, even more so because of the moment we’re in, but we are not the favourites. I think there are other teams that are above us.” Lionel Messi told ESPN.
Lionel Messi has so far played at four World Cup tournaments with Argentina. He has managed to score six goals and register five assists during that period.
The 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar will be Lionel Messi’s fifth. Lionel Messi will surpass the record of World Cup appearances he previously held with Javier Mascherano and the legendary Diego Maradona.
Argentina are in Group C at the World Cup alongside Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Poland. The South American side will face United Arab Emirates in their warm-up before beginning group play in Qatar.
Lionel Messi’s best World Cup performance with Argentina was in 2014 when he helped his country reach the finals of the tournament.
However, they finished as runner-up after Mario Gotze scored for Germany in extra time.
Lionel Messi had not won any silverware with Argentina until last year when he led the team to win the Copa America in Brazil.
The talented playmaker will be looking forward to winning another trophy this year as he heads into his last World Cup appearance.
Since making his debut for the Argentina national team, Lionel Messi has scored 90 goals in 164 appearances. He is the third-highest goalscorer in men’s football behind Cristiano Ronaldo (117) and Ali Daei (109).