Messi says he wants to be at 2026 World Cup ‘more than ever’
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi insists he wants to be at 2026 World Cup ‘more than ever’ but admits his sole focus is defending Argentina’s Copa America crown
Lionel Messi has confessed that he would like to compete in the 2026 World Cup, but that defending Argentina’s Copa America title comes first.
The 36-year-old Argentine legend has expressed his desire to compete in the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States and Mexico, but admits he would prioritize the Copa America first.
WHAT MESSI SAID
Messi stated his wish to continue playing tournament football for his country in the Star+ documentary ‘Champions, a Year Later,’ according to ESPN. “Today, all I can think about is getting to the Copa America in good shape and competing in it.” Fighting it again, aiming to be champions as we always have. Then time will tell whether I’ll be there [for the World Cup]. I’m going to be 39 years old, which means I won’t be able to play in the World Cup. I stated that I do not anticipate attending. It appeared that I would retire after the World Cup, but the contrary was true. Now, more than ever, I want to be there. [However], I’m not thinking about the World Cup, and I’m not saying I won’t be there because anything can happen. Given my age, the most likely scenario is that I will not be present. Then we’ll see how far it goes. Perhaps we will do well in the Copa America. everything in order for us to continue. Perhaps not. It’s difficult to be realistic.”
THE LARGER IMAGE
Messi won the 2022 Qatar World Cup against France in December, barely a year after winning his first big international title, defeating Brazil on penalties in the Copa America final. The World Cup was also decided on penalties after a thrilling match against his former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe ended 3-3 after extra time.
WHAT COMES NEXT FOR MESSI?
After missing out on the playoffs with his new club Inter Miami, the former Barcelona man will now take some well-deserved time off. With the next international break coming until March and the MLS not returning until February, Messi will have several months to recover before being required to play again.