Lionel Scaloni Lays Ground Work for Messi to Play 2026 World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup was the last for Lionel Messi, as the 35-year-old capped off by riding into the sunset and winning the trophy that has long eluded him. 

Messi isn’t retired from international football as he’ll suit up for Argentina and the Paris Saint-Germain star is likely to feature in the 2024 Copa America. Nonetheless, the manager for La Albiceleste, Lionel Scaloni, believes the veteran forward can play in the 2026 World Cup.

“I think Messi can get to the next World Cup,” he told Radio Calvia (h/t GOAL). “It will depend a lot on what he wants, on whether he feels good. The doors will always be open. But he is happy on the pitch and it would be very nice for us.”

The Argentine will be 37 years old when the Copa America comes around in two years and there’s no doubt that Scaloni and Co. will attempt to plant the seeds to have Messi on the team to defend their World Cup crown. 

Messi will be 39 for the next World Cup and it wouldn’t be out of the question as Dani Alves went with Brazil to Qatar at the same age. It will likely all come down to the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and whether he wants to go. 

Tags Argentina national team Lionel Messi Lionel Scaloni
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