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Lionel Messi Contemplates 2026 World Cup Comeback: “I’m Going to as Long as…”

Lionel Messi Contemplates 2026 World Cup Comeback: “I’m Going to as Long as…”

Written by Sanjay Kumar

Argentina’s football maestro, Lionel Messi, is not closing the door on the possibility of gracing the 2026 World Cup, expressing his willingness to participate despite the challenges posed by time. Messi, fresh from securing his eighth Ballon d’Or, had initially hinted that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would mark the end of his international journey. However, recent developments suggest a potential comeback.

A year ago, Messi led Argentina to World Cup triumph against France in Doha, raising speculation that it would be his swan song on the grand stage. However, the 36-year-old, now plying his trade in Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, has kept the possibility of a return alive, emphasizing that “anything can happen.”

In a candid interview with Argentina’s Star, Messi acknowledged the conventional expectation that his age might deter him from the 2026 tournament. Still, he remains open to the idea, leaving the decision-making process open-ended.

“I’m not thinking about the World Cup, and I’m not saying 100 percent that I won’t be there because anything can happen. Because of my age, the most normal thing is that I won’t be there. Then we’ll see,” Messi stated.

While emphasizing his current focus on the upcoming Copa America in the United States, Messi recognized the difficulties in securing a sixth consecutive World Cup appearance but did not dismiss the possibility entirely.

“Maybe we’ll do well at the Copa America, and everything will work out for us to continue. Maybe not. Realistically it’s difficult,” Messi commented, displaying a pragmatic approach to the challenges ahead.

Messi acknowledged the awareness of transitioning to a lesser league but emphasized the personal aspect of his decision-making process and how he competes. He expressed his commitment to contribute as long as he feels physically well, stating, “Today all I’m thinking about is getting to the Copa America. After that, time will tell if I’m there or not.

Reflecting on his initial post-World Cup retirement announcement and the subsequent change of heart, Messi revealed, “I’m going to arrive at an age that, normally, doesn’t allow me to play in the World Cup. I said I don’t think I’m going to be there. It looked like after the World Cup I was retiring and it was the opposite. Now I want to be there more than ever.”

Conclusion:

As Lionel Messi steers his course through a new chapter in Major League Soccer, the football world eagerly awaits his decision regarding the 2026 World Cup. Messi’s unwavering passion and commitment to the sport suggest that the footballing legend may yet script another chapter in his illustrious international career. Only time will reveal whether Messi will grace the world stage once again, adding another compelling layer to his storied legacy.

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