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HomeNewsMessi Announces Qatar 2022 as His Final World Cup

Messi Announces Qatar 2022 as His Final World Cup

The Argentine star and captain of the national team that won the World Cup in Qatar 2022, Lionel Messi, said that this was “in principle” his last participation in a World Cup, in an interview with a Chinese media broadcast on Tuesday.

“I said it a few times, I think not (on whether he will be in the World Cup to be jointly organized by Mexico, the United States and Canada in 2026), that this was my last World Cup (Qatar-2022), and now I will see how things turn out but in principle I do not think I will reach the next World Cup,” Messi said in a video interview for the Chinese sports newspaper Titan Sports and broadcast on the Chinese platform Kuaishou.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently in Beijing with the ‘Albiceleste’, where he will take part in a friendly match against Australia on Thursday, and where his presence provokes widespread popular enthusiasm.

At the beginning of February, Lionel Messi had already been pessimistic about a further participation in a World Cup. “Because of my age, I think it’s very difficult,” he had told the Argentine newspaper Olé.

“I love playing soccer, I love what I do, and as long as I’m well and feel physically fit and continue to enjoy this I’m going to do it, but it seems like a lot until the World Cup next year,” he added then.

More than satisfied with his career

In the same interview for the Chinese media, Messi also referred to the Ballon d’Or award, for which he starts as one of the great favorites along with Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.

“I always said that individual awards were not what called me, but the collective awards were always the most important thing for me,” he revealed.

“And the most important award in recent times was the World Cup, that’s my biggest award, and the truth is that at this stage of my career if it comes well, and if not, nothing happens either, and I think I may have got the World Cup, which was what I was missing, I am more than satisfied and grateful for the career I had, which I think in the end is the most important thing,” concluded the former Paris SG and FC Barcelona player.

Chinese fans tried their best to get close to their hero, and tickets for the match, priced at up to 4,800 yuan (620 euros; $670), sold out quickly.

The Argentine star, who landed in Beijing on Saturday, will lead the reigning world champions against the ‘Socceroos’ at the Chinese capital’s newly renovated 68,000-capacity Workers’ Stadium on Thursday.

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