The future of Lionel Messi remains a subject as the 35-year-old’s contract expires in June. However, another aspect of the Argentine’s future is that many on the national team want him to be part of the next FIFA World Cup.
After winning the 2022 World Cup last December, it appeared that Messi had played his final tournament. Nonetheless, former Barcelona midfielder Bernd Schuster stated that he has a tough time seeing the Argentine being part of the 2026 World Cup.
“I see it difficult,” Schuster told Super Depor Radio (h/t AS). “You can never say no. A lot happens and he takes great care of himself. [I] don’t know.
“Today, the players last longer because everything has improved. Diets, physios, doctors … help the body to last many more years than in my time. It may be that it arrives, but I see it difficult. Without a doubt.”
Many are not prepared to see Argentina without Messi, but considering he turns 36 this year and likely won’t be playing football at a top level, it would be hard to see him for the tournament in three years.
The Paris Saint-Germain star’s likely final international tournament might be the 2024 Copa America in the United States. Messi can have his last dance while helping Argentina defend their South American crown as CONMEBOL and CONCACAF nations compete.