In an interview with Chinese media on Tuesday, Lionel Messi said that he “doesn’t think” he will play at another World Cup. Messi, who is 35 years old, led Argentina to win at last year’s event in Qatar.
When asked by China’s Titan Sports in a video interview if he might play at the 2026 event in North America, he said, “I have said many times that I don’t think so. I think that (the 2022 World Cup) was my last.”
“I’ll see how things go, but I don’t think I’ll be around for the next World Cup,” he said in Spanish in the video posted on the app Kuaishou.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is in Beijing, where Argentina will play Australia in a friendly on Thursday.
This is after he told an Argentinian newspaper earlier this year that it would be “very hard” for him to play in another World Cup. During the next event, he will be 39 years old. Messi said last week that he would be joining MLS team Inter Miami after his two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain ended.
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Argentina will play a match against Australia on Thursday at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, which can hold up to 68,000 people.
The game is a rematch of the last-16 match between these two teams at the World Cup in Doha, which Argentina won 2-1.
Fans in China are eager to see the former Barcelona star play, so even though tickets cost up to 6,711 Yuan (4,800 Yuan), they sold out quickly.