Argentine super star Lionel Messi is not ruling out another attempt to win a World Cup in 2026, though he admits that time is not on his side.
Nearly a year ago, Messi—who recently won his eighth Ballon d’Or—lifted the World Cup after leading Argentina against France in the final in Doha.
The 36-year-old stated at the time that the competition in Qatar would be his final one and that he wouldn’t be at the 2026 edition, which the US, Canada, and Mexico will co-host.
But he maintains the door is still open, having gone to Inter Miami of Major League Soccer and continued to play for the national team in 2026 qualifying.
“I’m not thinking about the World Cup and I’m not saying 100 percent that I won’t be there because anything can happen. Because of my age, the most normal thing is that I won’t be there. Then we’ll see,” Messi said in an interview with Argentina’s Star+.
The Argentina captain stated that he is concentrating on the Copa America, which will take place in the US in June.
“Maybe we’ll do well at the Copa America and everything will work out for us to continue. Maybe not. Realistically it’s difficult,” he said regarding his sixth straight appearance in the World Cup.
Messi said he would be “the first to know when I can be there and when I can’t. I’m also aware that I’ve gone to a lesser league. But it’s all about the personal side of things and the way you deal with it and how you compete.
“As long as I feel I’m well and can continue to contribute, I’m going to do it. Today all I’m thinking about is getting to the Copa America. After that, time will tell if I’m there or not.
“I’m going to arrive at an age that, normally, doesn’t allow me to play in the World Cup. I said I don’t think I’m going to be there. It looked like after the World Cup I was retiring and it was the opposite. Now I want to be there more than ever,” he added.