Football

Lionel Messi says he’ll retire after the Qatar final

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has stated that the World Cup final that will take place this coming weekend will be his final appearance at a World Cup.

After Messi’s mesmerising performance led Argentina to a 3-0 semi-final triumph over Croatia, the South Americans will play France or Morocco on Sunday for the right to be proclaimed world champions.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has had a great tournament and is in a prime position to add the World Cup to his list of notable accomplishments.

The 35-year-old is now tied for first in Qatar in goals scored and assists after scoring one and assisting two others in the victory over Croatia. Having already said that Sunday’s final will be his last World Cup game, he will tie Lothar Matthaus for the record of most appearances at the tournament with 26.

“I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying,” he said, according to BBC.

“Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina.

“There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.”

Messi led Argentina to victory at the 2021 Copa America, the country’s first major championship since 1990. Defeat in the 2014 World Cup final and three prior losses in the competition’s championship game set the stage for this triumph.

Now he has a second opportunity at football’s most prestigious award, which many believe would establish him as the sport’s most outstanding player ever.

“We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now so that this time it really happens – we really win it,” Messi said.

“I have been enjoying it the past few years, being with the national side. I am really enjoying everything that is happening to us.

“To get the Copa America, to reach the World Cup with 36 games unbeaten, and to finish all that trajectory in a final is just incredible.

“I hope the people in Argentina enjoy themselves and what we are doing. They shouldn’t doubt we are giving absolutely everything.”

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