The Argentina superstar will turn 39 during the next World Cup and had said last year that the 2022 tournament in Qatar would be his last.
Football’s GOAT Lionel Messi is not ruling out playing for Argentina at the 2026 World Cup as he is hoping to chase glory, according to reports by RadioMARCA.
Despite reaching 39 at the United States, Canada, and Mexico quadrennial tournament, Messi is still motivated to play for his country.
“Leo is very motivated with this team. He has formed a large group,” voiced Argentine journalist Gustavo Sanchez.
“His obsession was to win something with Argentina. Now that he’s done it, he took the weight off his shoulders, and it’s just fun. Enjoy playing in the national team like a child,” Sanchez added.
As conveyed by Sanchez, the Argentina captain, who holds the national team’s historic top scorer label, is striving to break another milestone by playing in his sixth World Cup.
“If he plays the 2026 World Cup, he would be the only player to play 6 World Cups. He wants glory. He already has the money, ” the Argentine journalist stated.
Scoring a hat-trick to rise past his 100-goal barrier against Curacao earlier this month, Messi became the first South American player to earn the legendary milestone, clearly showing that there hasn’t been a slowdown in performance for the decades-run footballer.
In an interview with the Argentine publication Diario Ole, Messi expressed that there’s a chance he may play again on the international pitch, though he is aware of his climb in age.
“Because of age, it’ll be difficult to make 2026, I love playing football and while I feel like I’m in good shape and enjoying this, I’m going to keep at it. It seems like a long time until the next World Cup, but it depends on how my career is going,” the record-holder for most World Cup appearances said.
Sitting at 13 goals in World Cup competitions, Messi falls just short in becoming the all-time leading scorer after the 16 goals of Germany’s Miroslav Klose.
Playing in 2026 would also allow the footballer to nail his name on the wall for generations to come.
PSG contract negotiations
Meanwhile, amid a contract standoff with Paris Saint-Germain, there have been reports regarding a potential Messi reunion with Barcelona.
Barcelona Vice President Rafa Yuste confirmed at a press conference last week that the two groups are in close communication.
“Of course, we are in contact with Messi,” Yuste said on Friday. “Leo and his family know the affection I have for him, that we have for them.”
“I would love for him to come back, and I think the fans would too because beautiful stories in life have to have a happy ending. We are in love with Messi, and I think Messi is in love with Barca and the city of Barcelona,” Yuste added.
A homecoming between the famed footballer’s hometown team is hanging on to whether Barcelona can continue to reduce their wage bill of $216 million to meet La Liga’s regulations for next season.
Messi is in the final few months of his two-year deal with PSG that is set to end this coming June.