Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has said the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next month will be the last of his career.

“It’s my last World Cup, surely. I feel good physically, I was able to do a very good pre-season this year, which I couldn’t do last year. It was essential to get to where I am, with a good state of mind and a lot of hope,” he said in an interview with ESPN Argentina on Thursday.

Referred to as one of the greatest football players of all time, the 35-year-old footballer has won every major trophy other than the World Cup. “There is anxiety, nerves about the World Cup,” he said. “We can’t wait for it to start,” said Messi who will be featuring in his fifth mega event. He made his international debut in 2005 and is the country’s all-time record goalscorer with 90 goals.

Argentina side, under the management of Lionel Scaloni, will be one of the favourites in the tournament, as it has now gone 35 games without defeat.

Since Messi’s debut, the closest Argentina came to winning the World Cup was in 2014 when the team lost 1-0 to Germany in the final, courtesy a stoppage time goal by Mario Götze. In the 2018 event, Argentina was knocked out of the round of 16 after a 4-3 defeat at the hands of France.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2022

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