Messi plans to play on for Argentina
DOHA: Lionel Messi is not ready to walk away from the Argentina national team yet, despite ending his pursuit of a World Cup winner’s medal.
Messi secured the one major trophy that had eluded him in his storied career as Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties in the final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
The match finished 3-3 through extra time, with Messi scoring twice and converting his penalty in the shootout. At 35, it was likely his last appearance in football’s biggest tournament, but he confirmed after the title decider that he intends to play on for Argentina.
“Obviously, I wanted to complete my career with this, [I] cannot ask for more,” Messi said.
“Finishing my career this way is impressive. After this, what else? I have a Copa America, a World Cup. Almost at the very end [of my international career]. I love football, what I do. I enjoy being part of the national team, the group. I want to enjoy a couple of more matches being a world champion,” Messi added.
When asked about Messi’s intention to continue playing, Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said: “If he wants to keep playing, he can be with us, he is more than entitled to decide if he wants to stay with us. It is a huge pleasure to coach him, everything that he transmits to his team is unparalleled. It is something I have never seen before.”