In a surprising twist to Lionel Messi’s international football career, Claudio Tapia, the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), hinted that the star forward might continue representing Argentina until the 2026 World Cup. This comes despite Messi’s previous statements suggesting he might not extend his international career to the next global footballing event.
Speaking at a sports leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Tapia expressed,
“He always aims for more. He never gives up and always surprises you. I’ve often pondered on this – how could I not? I genuinely wish for him to be a part of the 2026 World Cup. Given Messi’s current prowess, he is very much capable of playing at the 2026 edition.”
Lionel Messi, who was instrumental in leading Argentina to their third World Cup triumph in Qatar, would be 39 by the conclusion of the 2026 World Cup set to take place in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Despite age considerations, Messi’s recent performances indicate he’s far from slowing down.
Having transitioned to Inter Miami in mid-July as a free agent, Messi’s impeccable form remains evident. The 36-year-old footballing maestro has netted 11 goals in as many games and has provided five crucial assists. Moreover, his pivotal role in guiding Inter Miami to their maiden Leagues Cup title last month and increasing their chances for the Major League Soccer playoffs is a testament to his continued prowess on the field.
With Messi’s future in international football a topic of widespread speculation, Tapia believes the decision ultimately rests with Messi. He stated, “It’s entirely up to him and his desires. Personally, I envision him participating in the next World Cup. He has the capability to do it if he wishes to.”
As fans and football enthusiasts worldwide anticipate Messi’s decision, his continued brilliance on the field remains unquestionable.