Lionel Messi is a few months removed from winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Furthermore, the 2024 Copa América is right around the corner, so many wondered if the soon-to-be 36-year-old will participate in the 2026 World Cup.
However, Messi announced Tuesday that he has no plans to play in the World Cup in North America three years from now. In a report by Efe News Agency, Messi told Chinese sports outlet Titan Sports about his possible participation in the 2026 World Cup.
“I think not,” Messi said about playing the next World Cup (h/t ESPN). “[Qatar] was my last World Cup. I’ll see how things go, but as it is right now, no, I won’t go to the next World Cup.”
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has now moved over to the MLS, so he’s done playing in Europe, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to keep playing international football.
Although coach Lionel Scaloni, his teammates and fans remained hopeful that he’d be able to play in the next edition. Nonetheless, once the 2026 World Cup comes around, Messi will be 39 years old while playing the last few years with Inter Miami.
So it seems the Copa América will likely be his last, considering it will occur in the United States.