Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has admitted that the 2022 FIFA World Cup billed to hold in Qatar will be his last World Cup as a professional footballer.
The 35-year-old has played at four World Cups with Argentina, scoring six goals and making five assists in 19 appearances.
He earned a runners-up medal in 2014, and after captaining his country to the Copa America title in 2021, the World Cup is the sole major trophy missing from Messi’s illustrious collection.
“It’s my last World Cup, surely,” he said.
Speaking to ESPN, Messi added: “I’m counting down the days to the World Cup. There is anxiety and nerves at the same time. Wanting it to be now, what is going to happen, and ultimately, how is it going to go?”
Messi made his international debut in 2005 and has gone on to make a total of 164 appearances for Argentina, scoring 90 goals.
The former Barcelona star also said that Argentina are not favourites to win the title in Qatar.
“In a World Cup, anything can happen. All the matches are very tough. The favourites don’t always end up winning,” Messi said.
“I don’t know if we’re the favourites, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history. Now even more so because of the moment we’re in, but we are not the favourites. I think there are other teams that are above us.”
Argentina have been drawn in Group C alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.
The World Cup will run from 20 November to 18 December, 2022.
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