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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