Lionel Messi could represent Argentina at the 2026 World Cup according to coach Lionel Scaloni

Argenti­na coach Lionel Scaloni says he believes Lionel Mes­si can play at the 2026 World Cup.

Mes­si, 35, led Argenti­na to glo­ry in Qatar last month and said many times through­out the tour­na­ment that “this will be my last World Cup”.

Mes­si thinks he can go to the next World Cup,” Sca­roni told Span­ish radio sta­tion Calvia FM. “It will depend a lot on what he wants, what hap­pens, if he is in a good mood. The door is always open. He is hap­py on the pitch and for us. it’s a good thing”.

But the Paris Saint-Ger­main for­ward has made it clear that he will con­tin­ue to play for Albice­leste for the time being, fol­low­ing his World Cup win medal.

“He real­ly likes being in the nation­al team, being part of this group,” Mes­si said after the World Cup final. “As a world cham­pi­on, I want to expe­ri­ence many match­es (with the nation­al team).”

Mes­si came close to win­ning the 2014 Brazil World Cup, but Argenti­na lost 1–0 to Ger­many in the final.

But Mes­si made up for it by star­ring in his fifth World Cup at the Qatar Games.

With sev­en goals in sev­en games, Mes­si became the first play­er to score in all rounds of the same World Cup since the last-16 was intro­duced in 1986.

He scored twice in the final against France and led Argenti­na to their third World Cup title after a dra­mat­ic penal­ty shootout.

He is also the first play­er to win the Bal­lon d’Or twice since it was intro­duced in 1982, hav­ing won it in 2014.

Scaloni said he does­n’t think Mes­si needs to win the World Cup to be called the great­est play­er of all time.

“I don’t think Mes­si need­ed to win the World Cup to be a great play­er or the great­est. I don’t know if there are any.”

“For him, and above all for the coun­try, for our own hap­pi­ness, there is a feel­ing of hap­pi­ness in Argenti­na these days that real­ly deserves to be achieved.

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