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Lionel Messi refuses to rule out playing at 2026 World Cup

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PSG and Argentina icon Lionel Messi has refused to rule out playing all the way until the 2026 World Cup.


In the build-up to 2022’s tournament in Qatar, Messi claimed he would not make it to 2026 and reiterated before the final, in which his Argentina side came out on top against France, that he would not play another World Cup game after that.

However, with the tournament now over, Messi has confessed he cannot rule out a push to make the Argentina squad in 2026.

“I don’t know, I always said because of age it seems to me that it is very difficult,” he told Ole. “I love playing football, I love what I do and as long as I am well and feel in good physical condition and continue to enjoy this, I will do it. But it seems difficult.

“I’m telling you…I’m not ahead of anything. That’s what I repeat and I’m going to repeat. Because of age and time, I think it’s difficult. But it depends on how my career goes.”

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has promised to leave the decision up to Messi.

“I think Messi can get to the next World Cup,” he told Radio Calvia. “It will depend a lot on what he wants, on whether he feels good.

“The door will always be open. He is happy on the pitch and it would be very nice for us.”

At club level, Messi must make a decision as he approaches the end of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi does have the option to extend his deal, which is due to end in the summer, by a further 12 months but PSG want to tie him down to a new contract altogether and have reached a broad agreement on another similar agreement.

However, 90min understands that Messi is yet to decide whether to sign or not, with Barcelona pushing for a reunion and Inter Miami hoping to lure him over to Major League Soccer.