In a major announcement, Lionel Messi has confirmed that the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be the last quadrennial extravaganza he participates in.
The 35-year-old superstar is widely regarded as one of the best ever to have played the game of football. Having tasted greatness and glory during his time at Barcelona, Messi has not always had the same experience with La Albiceleste.
However, that ended last year when he led Argentina to the Copa America 2021 triumph, right before he left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.
Having won the continental championship with his national team, Messi has his sights set on World Cup glory.
Ahead of the tournament, though, he has confirmed that this will be his last World Cup.
“This will be my last World Cup — for sure. The decision has been made,” he told journalist Sebastian Vignolo in an interview (h/t Fabrizio Romano).
Given that he is already 35 and would be 39 years of age when the next World Cup comes along, the decision was expected. Whether he will continue playing for the Argentina national team beyond the tournament in Qatar remains to be seen, however.
So far, the former Barcelona captain has made 164 appearances for La Albiceleste, scoring 90 goals in the process and is regarded as the greatest ever to represent the nation, along with Diego Maradona.
Messi’s first World Cup appearance came in 2006. The football legend came close to lifting the trophy in 2014, only to fall at the final hurdle against Germany.
Argentina are in good form heading into the competition this year and considering the struggles of some of the European giants, Messi & co. could go all the way in Qatar.