Lionel Scaloni believes Messi could play in the 2026 World Cup

Lionel Messi made his fifth appearance at the 2022 World Cup and helped Argentina win their third star by defeating France in the final. The Paris Saint-Germain ace has now won it all at club and international levels, collectively and individually. He had earlier stated that if he won the tournament at Qatar it would be his last one.

Lionel Scaloni wants Messi to return

However, Messi also said after winning the World Cup that he won’t retire just yet because he wants to play games and tournaments now that they are the champions. So there is a possibility that the 35-year-old will decide to defend the title during the 2026 World Cup that will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

READ ALSO: Lionel Messi’s PSG contract: what’s the latest?

Lionel Scaloni, who coaches the Argentina national team, said that he believes that Messi will decide to continue playing in the next tournament that is scheduled to start in the summer in three-and-a-half years. The manager is currently in talks with the Argentine Football Federation to extend his contract for the next World Cup cycle, since it expired on December 31.

“I think that Messi will be there [in 2026]. It is all up to him, what he wants and if he feels fit. The doors will always be open for him. He is happy inside the field and for us [Argentina] it will be great to have him,” said Scaloni during an interview with Deporte Radio Calvia in Mallorca, Spain, where he spends most of his time.

Regarding his renewal

“Today I am happy where I am,” said the Argentine manager. Scaloni is expected to travel next week to Buenos Aires to sign the new contract with the president of the football federation, Claudio Tapia. The 44-year-old coach will sign a contract extension until the end of the 2026 FIFA World Cup and hopes that Messi accepts the call up to participate.

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