Messi believes he can play in 2026 World Cup, depending on his fitness

The World Cup-winning captain of Argentina, Lionel Messi, has not ruled out his participation in the 2026 event, which will be held in three nations: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Before the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Messi announced that this would be his last appearance in the mega event.

His mind-set appears to have changed, and he is considering representing Argentina again in 2026, but age may interfere with his desire. Currently, the Argentine skipper is 35, and playing competitive football at the age of 39 is a herculean task.

“I like to play football,” Messi said. “The next World Cup is a long way away, and by then it will depend on how my fitness is shaping up.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has expressed his desire to see the mercurial forward at the next World Cup. If it happens, then Messi would be the sixth player in history to take part in five world cups.

Messi surpassed Germany’s Lothar Matthaus and became the most capped player in the World Cup, while he was playing his 26th match in the epic 2022 final against France.

If Messi represents Argentina in 2026, then he would have a chance to become the leading goal scorer in the history of World Cups. He netted the ball three times in the recently concluded World Cup in Qatar, helping the South American nation lift the coveted trophy for the third time. He has 13 goals in his kitty and is just three goals behind Miroslav Klose of Germany, the highest goal scorer in World Cup football.

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