Four-time World Cup Star Messi Contemplates Skipping 2026 Tournament

Lionel Messi, now plying his trade at Inter Miami, expressed hesitance about participating in the 2026 World Cup. The football icon will be 39 years old during the tournament scheduled to unfold across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The famed forward, adorned with eight Ballon d’Or trophies, hinted at a possible final bow on the grand stage, though he stated that his participation would hinge on his physical condition as the event draws near. “It’s about how I feel, my physical state,” Messi shared with Infobae.

“I need to face the music, recognize if I can still compete at that level and assist my squad,” he continued. There’s still time, but uncertainty lingers about his condition at that juncture. “Age isn’t just a number,” he admitted, noting the difference in his play at Inter Miami compared to his European days.

Reflecting on his current form, Messi has netted 12 times and provided nine assists in 12 MLS games this season. As Argentina’s captain, he’s gearing up to spearhead their defense of the Copa America crown shortly.

The competition kicks off for La Albiceleste with a clash against Canada on June 20 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Messi considers the playing field more formidable than ever. “Argentina always enters as a favorite alongside Brazil. Yet, teams like Uruguay, Colombia, and Ecuador are formidable. This Copa America will be closely contested,” Messi assessed.

Lionel Scaloni, overseeing Argentina for the fourth time at an international meet, is hopeful that Messi will dazzle yet again. Amid speculation about Messi’s tenure with the national team, Scaloni urged fans to live in the moment. “We Argentines get sentimental. We fret about his retirement when he’s still playing. Let’s savor these moments,” Scaloni told Telemundo Deportes.

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