Following Argentina’s victory in the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Luceil Stadium, Argentina captain and forward Lionel Messi told Argentina Television after the presentation ceremony.
“I want to keep experiencing a few more matches as world champion.”
Speaking further, Messi said he would not retire and would continue to play for Argentina.
“It’s simply unbelievable. I knew that God was going to give me the Cup, I was sure — it was a big joy for us. I had this big dream for a long time, I wanted to close my career with a World Cup.”
“I can’t ask more than this. No, I’m not going to retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with the Argentina shirt.”
Argentina led 2-0 at half-time and went 3-2 up in extra-time, but two late goals in normal time and another in extra-time saw Kylian Mbappe pull Argentina back with a hat-trick to take the game to penalties.
“It was a very strange match, the same as the other one against the Netherlands, and then when we went ahead in extra-time it happened again.”
But, he added, the World Cup trophy is “beautiful”.
Argentina boss Scaloni was speaking after the final against France, where he said Messi could still make the next World Cup in 2026 and that the door was open to the captain and the decision was left to him.
“We need to save him for the next World Cup – 2026. If Leo wants to keep playing, then he will be with us. He is more than entitled to decide what he wants to do with his career now.”
“It’s such a huge pleasure to coach him and his teammates because everything he transmits to his teammates is incredible. He gives us so much.”
“I am so proud. I am so happy to be World Cup winners. We should have won the match in 90 minutes, then extra time but we were fighters and we were very strong. We kept fighting because we wanted the win so much.”
“These players play for the people, they play for the Argentina fans, they play for the whole country. The players broke their backs because they understood what they had to do on the pitch and we are very, very happy and proud.”
However, ahead of the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the 35-year-old Messi has announced that it will be his last game of the tournament.
“Obviously I would like to end my career with this, I cannot ask for more. My career is nearly over because these are my last years.”
After many disappointments on football’s biggest stage, including losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany in Brazil, Messi said he always felt his time would come.