Lionel Messi has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will be his final appearance at the competition.
Now 35, Messi is yet to get his hands on the World Cup trophy, falling short in the final against Germany back in 2014 and tasting elimination in the quarter-finals in both 2006 and 2010.
If he is going 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 final World Cup.
“Yes, surely yes, surely yes,” he told Star+ when asked if Qatar will be his last.
“I’m counting down the days until the World Cup. “The truth is, there’s a little anxiety, saying: ‘Well, we’re here, what’s going to happen? It’s my last one, how’s it going to go?’. On one hand, I can’t wait for it to arrive but I’m also desperate for it to go well.”
Argentina are among the pre-tournament favourites once again, but Messi insisted he does not see things that way.
“We’re at a very good moment, with a very strong group, but anything can happen at a World Cup,” he explained. “All the matches are difficult, that is what makes a World Cup so special because the favourites are not always the ones who end up winning or even doing as well as you expect.
“I don’t know if we are the favourites, but Argentina in itself is always a candidate for history, for what it means. We are not the favourites, I think there are other teams that are above us.”
Messi also took the chance to discuss his form at club level with Paris Saint-Germain, insisting his truncated pre-season following his move to France last season was behind his poor maiden campaign in Ligue 1.
“I feel good physically. I could have a very good pre-season this year that I didn’t manage the year before because of how everything went,” he said.
“I started training late, playing without rhythm as the league has already started, and then I went to the national team. When I came back, I had an injury and I never finished starting.”
90min understands that Barcelona are exploring 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.