National team captain Lionel Messi has confirmed that the Qatar 2022 World Cup final will “probably” be the last match of his career at football’s greatest tournament.
The PSG star, 35, said in an interview after the 3-0 semi-final win over Croatia that he hopes this final will be “different” from 2014 and that Argentina can “lift” the World Cup trophy as champions.
"Yes, it will probably be my last game [at a World Cup]. There are many years to go until the next one and I don't think I'll be able to do it," said Messi, who is now Argentina's top scorer at World Cups with 11 goals and one of the two players with the most games played alongside Germany legend Lothar Matthäus.
"We all want to lift it [the trophy] and be world champions, but it's a football match and anything can happen. Hopefully this time it will be different," wished Messi, who played in the Brazil 2014 final defeat to Germany.
"Everything that is happening to us is incredible. We won the Copa América, we reached the World Cup with 36 games unbeaten. Let the people enjoy all this because it's the sixth final in our history," he said.
"Behind closed doors we knew we could reach the final. We weren't going to give anything away to anyone. We weren't the top candidates but we proved it match by match. We came from a difficult [position] when we lost, but we gave everything," said the captain.
Before ending the interview, Messi clarified that the hamstring discomfort he suffered during the match was no big issue, saying he was “fine.”
The national team star said he would have no problems playing his last game in World Cup history this Sunday.