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Messi wants to be in the 2026 World Cup but prioritises Copa America first

Lionel Messi has expressed his desire to participate in the 2026 World Cup, but he emphasizes that his primary focus at the moment is on defending Argentina’s Copa America championship.

Lionel Messi, the revered 36-year-old Argentinean icon, has expressed his aspirations to partake in the 2026 World Cup, scheduled to take place in the United States and Mexico. However, he acknowledges that his initial priority remains on the Copa America tournament.

Speaking on the Star+ documentary ‘Champions, a year later’, via ESPN, Messi outlined his intentions to continue playing tournament football for his country. “Today the only thing I think about is getting to the Copa America well and being able to compete in it. Fighting it again like we always did, trying to be champions. Then time will tell if I’m there [at the World Cup] or not. I’m going to arrive at an age [39 years old] that I normally wouldn’t be able to play in the World Cup.

Messi doesn’t think anything beyond Copa America is reasonable

I said that I don’t think I’m going to be there. It seemed that after the World Cup I was retiring and quite the opposite. Now I want to be there more than ever. [But] 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. Given my age, the most normal thing is that I won’t be there. Then we’ll see to what extent. Maybe we do well in the Copa America and it happens. everything so that we continue. Maybe not. Being realistic it is difficult.”

In December, Messi played a crucial role in securing victory for Argentina in the 2022 Qatar World Cup against France. This achievement came just one year after he won his first major international tournament by defeating Brazil in the Copa America final, which was decided by a penalty shootout.

Similarly, the World Cup final was also determined by a penalty shootout after an intense match against his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappe, which ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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