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Lionel Messi reveals stance on World Cup 2026 prospect

Lionel Messi at Argentina
"FIFA World Cup 2022 - Final - Argentina 3:3 (4:2 p) France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail - December 18, 2022" by footpicshd is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Will the Argentine icon lead the Selecao to another World Cup tournament?

Lionel Messi has no plans of staying with the Argentina national team until the 2026 World Cup.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner realized his dream of lifting the trophy in Qatar last year. But he quickly dismissed reports of his possible retirement from international football after the final against France.

Messi’s motivation to keep playing at the national team has led many to believe he could lead Argentina to the next World Cup. But the 35-year-old says he has no plans of preparing for the Mexico-USA-Canada tournament.

“I think not,” the Inter Miami star told Titan Sports when asked whether he will play for Argentina in another World Cup.

“This was my last World Cup. I’ll see how things go, but not in principle, I won’t go to the next World Cup.”

Winning the World Cup filled the only trophy gap in Messi’s career. The Argentine star is the favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or ahead of Erling Haaland but says the individual prizes are “no longer important” to him.

“Ballon d’Or? At this point in my career, if it comes, it’s good, and if it doesn’t, nothing happens,” he added.

“Does Ballon d’Or matters to me? No, it’s no longer important to me. I’ve always said, the individual prizes are not what matters to me, but the collective ones are the most important.

“The most important prize at the moment is the World Cup, the greatest prize for me.”