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Lionel Messi confirms he will not play 2026 World Cup

Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will not play the 2026 World Cup to be held in North America. He revealed his plans in an interview with Chinese television, stating that it is not in his plans to lead Argentina at the grandest tournament of all next time around. 

At the 2022 Qatar edition of the World Cup, Messi finally completed football by winning the coveted trophy. Argentina were able to have an unbelievable 2022 by winning the Copa America, Finalissima and the World Cup, lifting all available trophies to them. 

But it now seems like we have seen the last of Lionel Messi at the biggest competition in international football. 

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Lionel Messi 2026 World Cup

Lionel Messi confirms he won’t play 2026 World Cup 

“I think not. This was my last World Cup. I’ll see how things go, but in principle no, I won’t go to the next World Cup,” he said in the interview. 

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By the time the 2026 World Cup comes around, Lionel Messi will be 39 years old. As a result, the expectation is that he will have hung up his boots by then. And the recent decision to move away from the spotlight and sign for Inter Miami is certainly reinforcing that approach right now. 

messi Lionel Messi 2026 World Cup

Messi will be captaining Argentina at the 2024 Copa America, or at least, that is the expectation of the forward right now. The 35-year-old will be travelling to Asia to play Australia and Indonesia on June 15 and 19. 

For the time being, it seems like a confirmation that we have seen the last of Messi at a World Cup. However, football is unpredictable and the legend might just make it to the next edition if he is still playing then. 

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Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.
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