Lionel Messi at the 2026 World Cup? Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni provides positive update

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Lionel Messi Argentina Croatia 2022 World Cup
Argentina remain confident that Lionel Messi will grace the 2026 World Cup finals, with national coach Lionel Scaloni saying: “I can see him there.”
  • All-time great inspired glory at Qatar 2022
  • Expected to extend international career
  • Recognised as the world's best once again

WHAT HAPPENED? There had been plenty of talk heading into the 2022 event that Messi was preparing to bid farewell to international football. He was, however, able to get his hands on the grandest of prizes in Qatar and has hinted at prolonging a career with the Albiceleste that has already delivered 98 goals through 172 appearances.

WHAT THEY SAID: Scaloni believes Messi will be tempted to play on, telling Cadena Ser when asked if the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and newly-crowed FIFA Best men’s player of the year will make it to another major tournament on American, Canadian and Mexican soil: “Will he continue in the national team? We have the door open for him and if we see no, we’ll look for an alternative. I hope he makes it to the next World Cup, I can see him there, but I think the first thing is to qualify.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Scaloni went on to say of seeing Messi recognised as the best player on the planet again at 35 years of age: “You can’t say more than what has already been said, I am lucky to speak in the first person, in managing him, the most important thing is that he will continue to play.”

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Lionel Messi World Cup trophy Argentina 2022

Messi PSG

Lionel Scaloni

WHAT NEXT? Messi is currently focused on club matters at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, with a decision needing to be made on whether or not he will extend a contract in France that is due to expire at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.