Argentina have no problem 'running for Lionel Messi' at the next World Cup - Alexis Mac Allister
- Messi inspired Argentina to World Cup win in 2022
- Set to continue with his international career
- Mac Allister urges Messi to play 2026 World Cup
WHAT HAPPENED? After guiding Argentina to their third global crown in Qatar, Messi announced that he has no plans to bid farewell to international football and will continue with the Albiceleste. However, there is a lingering doubt about whether he will feature at World Cup 2026, by which time he will be 39 years of age and well and truly winding down his illustrious career. Mac Allister certainly hopes the Paris Saint-Germain superstar will be present in Canada, Mexico and the United States in four years' time, and has even suggested that the rest of the Argentina team will cover for him out of possession.
WHAT THEY SAID: The Brighton midfielder said to TyC Sports. "He (Messi) knows that we want everything as long as he wants and can, so hopefully he can continue with us. Obviously, I see Messi in the next World Cup. I have no doubt that at 40 or 45 he will continue to be the best in the world. He is very professional, you can see it, he is in perfect physical condition to continue playing calmly. And afterwards, he has everything in his head, beyond the physical he has everything in his head. We don't have any problem running for him."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mac Allister also revealed that he benefitted from Messi's on-pitch guidance at Qatar 2022, especially in their crunch group stage fixture against Mexico. He added: "If he saw something that could improve the team or me, he would obviously tell me. I remember the game with Mexico a lot, he told me that if they pulled back a little, I would go forward to find space. On the pitch we talked a lot."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAC ALLISTER & MESSI? The midfielder will be in action with Brighton against West Ham on Saturday in the Premier League, while Messi is set to feature for PSG in a Ligue 1 meeting with Nantes on the same day.