Lionel Messi has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will be his final appearance at the competition.
Messi, now 35, is yet to win a World Cup trophy, coming up short in the 2014 final against Germany and tasting quarter-final exits in 2006 and 2010.
If he is to win the competition, it will have to be in Qatar later this year as Messi has confirmed that the upcoming tournament will be his last World Cup.
“Yes, sure yes, sure yes,” Star+ said when asked if Qatar would be his last.
“I’m counting down the days until the World Cup.” The truth is, there’s a bit of anxiety when I say, ‘Well, we’re here, what’s going to happen? It’s my last, how will it go?’. On the one hand, I can’t wait for it to arrive, but I’m also desperate for it to go well.”
Argentina are once again among the pre-tournament favorites but Messi insisted he doesn’t see it that way.
“We are in a very good moment, with a very strong group, but anything can happen at the World Cup,” he explained. “All the games are tough, that’s what makes the World Cup so special because the favorites aren’t always the ones who end up winning or even doing as well as you expect.
“I don’t know if we are favourites, but Argentina itself is always a candidate for history, what that means. We are not favourites, I think there are other teams that are above us.”
Messi also took the opportunity to discuss his form at club level with Paris Saint-Germain, insisting his abbreviated pre-season following his move to France last season was behind his poor first campaign in Ligue 1.
“Physically, I feel good. I could have a very good pre-season this year, which I didn’t manage the year before because of the way everything went,” he said.
“I started training late, playing out of rhythm because the league had already started, and then I went to the national team. When I came back, I had an injury and I never finished.”
90min understands Barcelona are looking at ways to re-sign Messi, but the Argentine, who can opt out of the final year of his contract this summer, will not make any decision on his future until after the World Cup.