Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has admitted that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be Lionel Messi’s last appearance in the competition.
The Argentine icon reached the final of the competition in the 2014 edition but fell at the final hurdle against Germany via a 1-0 scoreline.
The World Cup is the only major trophy absent from Messi’s stacked trophy cabinet. He has had four stabs at winning the tournament but his nation has fallen short each time.
Hence, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be his final shot at winning the trophy as per Scaloni, who told TNT Sports in an interview (h/t Mundo Albiceleste):
“Messi has made a lot of people happy, not just Argentines. It could be his last. It could be… Hopefully, it’s not… I believe that he is happy on a pitch and he has made a lot of people happy.”
Scaloni, who traveled to the 2006 World Cup with a then 18-year-old Messi, continued:
“If we call him like he is supposed to be called, there can possibly be more games of his. Because the world of football asks for it and that’s obvious.”
Messi has been in scintillating form for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) this season, registering 12 goals and 14 assists in 18 games across competitions. He has played some of his best football in the past few months, which will give a lot of confidence to those backing La Albiceleste.
Even if this isn’t the last World Cup for the former Barcelona forward, it is hard to imagine him having the same impact on the team as a 39-year-old in the 2026 edition.
Argentina and Lionel Messi predicted to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Messi’s Argentina have been backed to lift the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy in Qatar by EA Sports’ FIFA 23 simulation.
The video game has predicted the correct winner of the tournament in the past three editions of the World Cup. This time around, the EA Sports video game has tipped Argentina to win the trophy for the third time in their history.
After simulating each of the 64 matches of the tournament, FIFA 23 also predicts that Messi will win the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in the competition.
Argentina begin their 2022 FIFA World Cup journey on 23 November against Saudi Arabia in their opening group stage match.