Argentina captain Lionel Messi has confirmed that the final of Qatar 2022 will be his last ever game at a FIFA World Cup.
Messi will set a new World Cup appearance record on Sunday as the final at Lusail Stadium will be his 26th match in the tournament’s history.
His World Cup career will either have a fairytale ending, or he will become a two-time losing finalist, having been part of the Argentina side beaten by Germany in 2014.
After inspiring Argentina to a 3-0 win over Croatia in Tuesday’s semi-final, Messi told reporters: “I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is very gratifying.
“Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina.
“There are many years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.”
Messi is currently 35 years old and will turn 39 in the summer of 2026 when the next World Cup is held in Mexico, Canada, and the USA.