‘He Can Still Play’ – Colombian Football Legend Predicts How Long Messi’s Playing Career Will Last

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is likely the last for Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi, which is why there are some rooting for the Argentina national team to win the tournament and give the veteran forward a storybook ending.

However, should the South American side fail to win the trophy, many will be wondering if Messi would consider going to the 2026 World Cup, which is under four years away. 

Colombian footballing legend Carlos Valderrama believes that Messi can continue playing for five more years, which would cross paths with the international tournament set to occur in North America. 

“[Messi’s] already big,” Valderrama told GOAL (h/t AS) in a recent interview. “He is 35, not 20, and it is impossible for him to play the same as when she was 19 or 20 years old. But he can still play until he is 40 if he wants to.”

“What happens is that he can’t play like that (with one or two touches) because the difference is made individually, speed. He knows how to play with one touch or two touches. If he wants, he can play like that because he has a goal and a good punch, but he doesn’t like to play like that. He likes to play like in the neighborhood. That’s Messi’s style; that’s why he’s always been the best.”

Messi might continue playing until he’s 40, but if he opts to go to MLS in the United States, his international could be over, but Argentina could take him just because of who he is and what he represents to the country. 

Furthermore, taking a player in his late 30s to a World Cup isn’t absurd, as Brazil has Dani Alves on the bench and he’s 39 years old. So it will likely come down to whether Messi wants to go when the time comes for a call-up. 

Tags 2022 World Cup Argentina national team Lionel Messi
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