BUENOS AIRES: After hoisting his first World Cup trophy with Argentina in December, Lionel Messi said that tournament would be his last, but now it appears he’s open to the possibility of playing in the 2026 event.

“Because of age it’ll be difficult to make 2026,” Messi, 35, told Diario Ole, a sports newspaper in Argentina. “I love playing football and while I feel like I’m in good shape and enjoying this, I’m going to keep at it. It seems like a long time until the next World Cup, but it depends on how my career is going.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni would love to see the superstar — who is one of only six players to compete in five World Cups — suit up for the next World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“I think Messi can make it to the next World Cup,” Scaloni told Spanish radio Calvia FM last month. “It will depend a lot on what he wants and what happens over time, that he feels good. The doors will always be open. He is happy on the pitch, and for us [it] would be good.”

After scoring seven goals in the 2022 World Cup, Messi could become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer if he suits up in 2026. He has 13 goals, three behind record-holder Miroslav Klose of Germany.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Ties with Tehran
Updated 24 Apr, 2024

Ties with Tehran

Tomorrow, if ties between Washington and Beijing nosedive, and the US asks Pakistan to reconsider CPEC, will we comply?
Working together
24 Apr, 2024

Working together

PAKISTAN’S democracy seems adrift, and no one understands this better than our politicians. The system has gone...
Farmers’ anxiety
24 Apr, 2024

Farmers’ anxiety

WHEAT prices in Punjab have plummeted far below the minimum support price owing to a bumper harvest, reckless...
By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...