Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni insists Lionel Messi can play at the 2026 World Cup.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi finally lifted football’s most famous trophy as the Albiceleste triumphed at Qatar 2022.
The 35-year-old scored twice in a dramatic victory over France in the final and took home the Golden Ball award.
Many expected the tournament to be a fairytale ending for Messi on the international stage.
Some have said his heroics in the Middle East cement his claim as the greatest footballer in history and there is nothing left to achieve.
But the Paris Saint-Germain forward is not planning on quitting just yet.
“I really enjoy being in the national team and being a part of this group,” Messi said after the World Cup final.
“I want to continue experiencing more games [with the national team] as world champion.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez pay £250,000 per-month for 17-room hotel suite
Cristiano Ronaldo posts training pics as Georgina Rodriguez denies crisis rumours
Ex-Premier League defender Richard Rufus jailed over £15m trading scam
Gibbs-White taunts Wolves fans after Forest win as on-pitch fight follows
Ex-Man City man sees funny side of Klopp asking if he’s ever played football
FA confirm clubs can be charged if fans sing ‘Chelsea rent boy’ during chants
And now, Argentina manager Scaloni insists Messi can be part of the nation’s 2026 World Cup squad.
The captain will turn 39 during the tournament – which is being held across Canada, Mexico and the United States.
“I think Messi can make it to the next World Cup,” Scaloni told Spanish radio Calvia FM.
“It will depend a lot on what he wants and what happens over time, that he feels good. The doors will always be open.
“He is happy on the pitch, and for us [it] would be good.”
Meanwhile, Scaloni insists Messi did not need the World Cup to prove himself as the GOAT.
“I think it wasn’t necessary for Messi to win a World Cup to be one of the greats or the greatest,” he added. “It happens that more is always asked of him. Now I don’t know what is going to be asked of him.
“Happy for him, but above all for the country, for the happiness that we gave ourselves, because being in Argentina these days, there is a euphoria that was really worth achieving.”