Lionel Messi has not ruled out participating in the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada in an interview with the Argentine newspaper Olé. The Argentinian superstar, who became world champion for the first time with his country in Qatar at the end of last year, indicated “I will continue to play football as long as I continue to enjoy it”.
The 35-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker had previously said his fifth World Cup would be his last. The captain scored seven goals, including two in the final against France (3-3). He also scored from 11 meters in the penalty shootout. Messi crowned his exceptionally successful career with the world title.
“I like playing football, I really like what I do,” Messi said in the interview. “As long as I am fit and keep enjoying it, I will continue. Whether the 2024 Copa América and the 2026 World Cup are an option? I do not know. It depends on how my career develops. It depends on many things.”
Messi would celebrate his 39th birthday on June 24, 2026, during the World Cup. “It is not easy to be there at such an age,” the Argentinian superstar acknowledged. “But it’s still a long way off.” After winning the World Cup in Qatar, Messi had indicated that he wanted to stay “a little longer”.
Messi hopes Lionel Scaloni stays on as national coach. The 44-year-old Argentinian is currently negotiating a new contract with the Argentine federation. “He has been very important for the national team,” said Messi. “It would be fantastic if we could continue our development under his care.”