BUENOS AIRES — Argentina captain Lionel Messi has said he is unsure about his participation in the next World Cup to be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada in 2026, when he will be 39.
“I don’t know if I will get there,” he told Argentine media personality Miguel Garrados in an interview broadcast on YouTube. “I don’t think about it yet because it is far away.”
For now, Messi said he is focused on the 2024 US-hosted Copa America tournament.
“After the Copa America we’ll see, it will depend on how I feel,” he said. “There are still three years left.”
Messi led Argentina to victory against France in the World Cup final in Qatar last December.
In the interview, he reiterated his disappointment with not having received sufficient “recognition” at his former French club Paris Saint-Germain after holding aloft the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He claimed he was the only one of his Argentine team mates “who got no recognition” from his club.
“It was not what I expected but I’ve always said that things happen for a reason,” Messi said of his Paris years, adding he “wasn’t well there”.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had already stated on numerous occasions that he was unhappy at PSG before moving to Florida to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.
In regards to playing at the next World Cup with the Argentina national team:
“I’m not thinking about the next World Cup yet, it’s far. About the upcoming Copa America, yes. It’s going to be nice. After that, we will see, depending how I am. The years have passed and we have to see how I feel, I’ll see it day by day.
“I don’t want to think about the after. I want to enjoy it as much as I can, what I like the most is playing.”
How he is and playing with Inter Miami:
“I’m happy here in Miami and it shows… At a certain point, here it is more relaxed.
“There are people who have followed me for a lifetime and already know me. It shows a lot when I’m happy on the pitch. The idea was to start decompressing a little. After so many years in a career, to take things differently, to enjoy it.”
“I’m pretty cut off from Whatsapp, I have to be seen if I am online. I do not send audios, I prefer messaging and calls. I do not use stickers.”
“The Ballon d’Or is a beautiful honor but I was fortunate enough to win everything in football. The Champions League, league titles, Copa America, World Cup and others. These are more important awards.
“Everything I have is at Barcelona, there in the museum. The Ballon d’Or, the golden boot, everything.”