Former Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi has announced that he will not participate in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is going to take place in Mexico, USA and Canada.
The Argentine star lifted the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 as the team’s captain. He was in shining form, scoring seven times and providing three assists in seven games.
Messi was awarded the Golden Ball for his exploits. Many expected him to announce his retirement from international duty after the tournament, as he had won every accolade the sport had to offer, but that didn’t happen.
That would have been an encouraging sign for fans who hoped to see Messi at the grandest stage in football in 2026.
However, he has now said that the final against France in December at the Lusail Iconic Stadium was likely his last World Cup game.
Lionel Messi recently said (via @AlbicelesteTalk on Twitter):
“I don’t think so. This was my last world cup. I’ll see how things go, but in principle no, I won’t go to the next world cup”
The former Barcelona superstar is Argentina’s most prolific goalscorer (102) and highest appearance maker (174). He has scored 13 goals in 26 World Cup games; only Gerd Muller (14), Ronaldo Nazario (15) and Miroslav Klose (16) have more.