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L. Messi

Will Messi retire from international football after 2022 World Cup? Mac Alllister hopes Argentina superstar will play on

19:29 EAT 20/11/2022
Lionel Messi Argentina 2022-23
There has been talk of the 2022 World Cup being Lionel Messi’s last, but Alexis Mac Allister hopes international retirement remains some way off.
  • Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner in Qatar
  • Desperate to claim a global crown
  • Tournament may be his last for Albiceleste

WHAT HAPPENED? Argentina have been unable to deliver a global crown for their talismanic captain, with final heartache suffered back in 2014, but they will get another shot at landing the ultimate prize in Qatar. That tournament could be Messi’s farewell tour with his country, but those working alongside the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner are eager to see an all-time great delay any plans to focus his full attention on club matters at 35 years of age.

WHAT THEY SAID: Brighton playmaker Mac Allister, who will be playing alongside Messi in the Middle East, has told Albion TV of seeing an iconic team-mate walk away from the Albiceleste camp: “We don’t want him to leave the national team. He’s very important for us, for the country. So hopefully he is not [retiring]. It’s better not to think about Messi leaving the national team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Argentina have not lifted the World Cup since the days of Diego Maradona in 1986, but they are determined to bring that barren run to a close, with Mac Allister adding: “We will try to do our best to lift that World Cup. We always want to be champions and that has to be our mentality. We know that the people are getting excited in Argentina because we’ve got the best player in the world, because we’ve got really good players and a really good team.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Argentina, led by Messi, will open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, before then going on to face Mexico and Poland in their other Group C fixtures.