Lionel Messi has announced that the Qatar 2022 World Cup final will be his last for Argentina, after leading his team to the finals.
Messi had been coy about whether this World Cup would be his last until now, but following the conclusion of the Croatia match, the 35-year-old admitted he couldn’t see himself playing until the 2026 edition, which will be held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
“I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final,” Messi said.
“That is really very gratifying. Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina.”
“There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.”
Argentina, who lost their first World Cup match to Saudi Arabia, will face either France or Morocco on Sunday, and Messi, after losing the 2014 World Cup final to France, says he wants it to “really happen” this time.
“We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now, so that this time it really happens – we really win it,” he said.
“I have been enjoying it the past few years, being with the national side. I am really enjoying everything that is happening to us.”
“To get the Copa America, to reach the World Cup with 36 games unbeaten, and to finish all that trajectory in a final is just incredible.”
“I hope the people in Argentina enjoy themselves and what we are doing. They shouldn’t doubt we are giving absolutely everything.”