Despite his age, the world cup champion has no intention of retiring.
Lionel Messi batted away the suggestion that he might retire from Argentina duty after claiming a first World Cup title in thrilling fashion, saying he wants to “continue as a champion”. The 35-year-old won the tournament’s Golden Ball after scoring seven goals to help his country become world champions for the first time since 1986, and the third time overall.
“I’m not retiring from the national team. I want to continue playing as a champion,” Messi told TyC Sports afterwards
“It’s crazy that it happened this way. I wanted it very much,” Messi added
“I knew that God was going to give it to me, I had a feeling that it was going to be this way. Now to enjoy it.”
He continued: “Look what this cup is, it’s beautiful. We suffered a lot, but we made it. We can’t wait to be in Argentina to see how crazy it’s going to be.”
Argentina did it the hard way, surrendering a 2-0 half-time lead to concede twice in the second half and force extra time, before surrendering again to force a shoot-out. However, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s effort and Argentina remained composed to convert all four of their penalties and win.
“It was a game where we suffered,” said Martinez.
“Two crappy shots and they levelled. They give them another penalty, they scored. Thank God later I did my thing, what I dreamed of”.
“There could not have been a World Cup that I have dreamed of like this. I was calm during the penalties.”