The 2022 World Cup in Qatar next month will be the last Lionel Messistoried profession.
The 35-year-old Argentine star, who will play in the World Cup for the fifth time, is still chasing his first title in the tournament (which begins on November 20 this year) and has admitted he is feeling nervous ahead of his final appearance on the world. The biggest stage in football.
“There is some anxiety and nerves at the same time. It’s the last,” Messi said in an interview with Messi. star plus.
This is the first time that the Paris Saint-Germain striker has spoken openly about his future after the tournament, with Messi not definitively saying whether he will retire from the national team after Qatar.
Argentina, unbeaten in their last 35 official matches, will reach the World Cup with confidence after winning the 2021 Copa America final against hosts Brazil, which Messi believes was a turning point for his team after several impending errors.
“In the World Cup, anything can happen,” Messi said. “All matches are very difficult. The favourites don’t always end up winning.” “I don’t know if we are the favourites, but Argentina are always favourites because of their history. Now more so because of the moment we are in, but we are not the favorites. I think there are other teams that are above us.”
Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986. The team will open the tournament on November 22 against Saudi Arabia in Group C before facing Mexico and Poland.
Messi’s record with Argentina stands in stark contrast to his success at club level. Argentina came close to ending a long cup drought on three occasions, but lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and Chile in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals.
“I have been playing with the national team for a long time,” Messi said. “There were great moments, like 2014, 2015, 2016 but we didn’t win and we were criticized for not being champions.
“We did everything right until the finals.”
Messi said he is heading to Qatar with a positive outlook as a bigger statesman in a team full of young talent.
He added, “It was very difficult, but in 2019 a new group came with many youngsters and won the Copa America. It helped us a lot.”
Argentina will face the United Arab Emirates in the final preliminary round in November before starting multiplayer in Qatar.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this story.
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