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'I’m sure it will be soon' - Lionel Messi discusses Argentina retirement and admits he's into 'the last years' of his career ahead of Inter Miami presentation

Messi Argentina 2023Getty Images
  • Messi mulling Argentina retirement
  • Admits "it will be soon"
  • Wants to enjoy his final lap with the national team

WHAT HAPPENED? After the forward guided Argentina to their third global crown in Qatar, Messi emphatically pledged to continue playing as a champion in albiceleste colours. However, he had suggested heading into that tournament that he would not be back for the 2026 edition of the global tournament and reiterated that stance last month while revealing his next move to MLS franchise Inter Miami. Now, during an interview on TV Publica, where he was questioned by his Argentina national teammates, he once again stressed that he is in the final lap of his career and his international retirement "will be soon", but refrained from putting a date onto it.

WHAT THEY SAID: When asked when he will stop playing for the Argentina national team by Exequiel Palacios, Messi replied: “Honestly, I don’t know until when. I think it will happen when it has to happen. After having achieved everything recently, the only thing left to do is to enjoy. God will say when that moment will come.

“Logically, because of my age, I’m sure it will be soon. But I don’t know exactly when will be the right time. I think about the day-to-day, enjoying everything beautiful. We had to go through very hard times in the national team. We were fortunate enough to be World Cup and Copa America champions. It’s time to enjoy," he added.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Meanwhile, Paulo Dybala asked Messi if he is human, and whether he gives much thought to how much he has achieved in the game.

"When you are always competing, when you always have goals ahead of you, you don’t value much what you really deserve, what you are achieving," he said. "I am at a moment in my career where I enjoy everything that happens to me and I value everything much more because I know that these are the last years. But I think that when I retire and I’m not playing anymore, I will value all of this much more. And even more so the fact of being a World champion, which will last a lifetime, especially in a country like ours, that is so fond of football, so grateful for it."

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WHAT NEXT? Messi has already landed in Florida and is set to be presented as a new Inter Miami player in a  'major unveiling event' that will be held on July 16 at 8 pm ET.