Here’s if Messi Is Really Retiring After He Called Qatar His ‘Last World Cup’

Lionel Messi
Photo: Getty Images

After a historic win at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, many football fans are wondering if Lionel Messi will retire anytime soon.

The World Cup final that took place on December 18, 2022, will probably go down in history as one of the greatest matches in sports history. Argentina was leading against France 2-0 before the 80-minute mark, but Kylian Mbappé scored two goals in under 10 minutes to tie the game. This resulted in a nail-biting overtime when both Argentina and France both scored a goal to leave the game at 3-3 and the teams had to go to penalty kicks. Argentina came out victorious 4-2. It marked Argentina’s third World Cup since 1986, though they made it to the finals in 2014.

With such a big win that defined his career, will Lionel Messi retire?

Will Lionel Messi retire after the World Cup?

Lionel Messi

Image: by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Will Lionel Messi retire after the World Cup? The answer is: no. According to an interview with TyC Sports after the historic victory, Messi said, “I won the Copa America and the World Cup in a short time. I love what I do, being in the national team, and I want to continue living a few more games being world champion.”

“Obviously I wanted to close my career with this, I can’t ask for anything more,” he continued telling the outlet after his win. “Thank God he gave me everything. Almost finishing my career in this way is amazing. It’s crazy, we really wanted it but it is the most beautiful thing there is. Look at what it is, it’s beautiful. I wanted it so badly. God was going to give it to me … we suffered a lot but we made it. I can’t wait to be back in Argentina to see how crazy that is going to be.” Messi concluded, “It’s the dream of every little kid, I was lucky enough to have achieved everything and what I was missing is here.”

Messi’s statement comes weeks after he announced that it would be his last World Cup, as the competition is played every four years. When asked if it was his last via CNN, Messi responded, “Yes. Surely yes. There’s a lot of years until the next one and I don’t think I have it in me and finishing like this is best. [I feel] a lot of happiness to be able to achieve this. To finish my World Cup career playing my last game in a final. Everything I’ve lived in this World Cup, what people experienced and how much the people back in Argentina are enjoying it all is very emotional.” He continued. “I’m enjoying everything a lot, I feel strong to be able to face each match. We’ve come along making a lot of big sacrifices, like playing the extra time which wasn’t easy. We were tired but the group gave that little bit more, it was a very tough game which went the way we prepared for. We knew they would have the ball a lot and that we would have our chances. It was a well-prepared match like we always manage, and I’m happy, I’m enjoying it all a lot.”
Lionel Messi

Image: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The “little boy from Rosario, Argentina” started out his career when he was very young. Having a passion for the sport since he was young, he went to Barcelona, Spain at the age of 13 to pursue his career and to attain treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. From there, he would have a fruitful career playing at Barcelona FC. He scored 672 goals in 778 games there, while also winning his first Ballon d’Or at age 22 and continued to do so for four years in a row. Messi was a long-term standout and champ, winning a record seven Ballon d’Ors.

In August 2021, Barcelona announced that the team could not offer a renewal due to being in debt and following years of overspending and the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the club said, “Despite having reached an agreement between Barça and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalize due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations)” Two days later, he signed with Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.


Image: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

For the national team of Argentina, he became the youngest Argentine to debut in a World Cup match in 2006. He assumed the captaincy of the Argentina National Team in 2011, and in total has played five World Cups and six Copa Americas which he also won last year. After the 2016 Copa America finals against Chile, Messi announced his retirement after losing the game in a penalty kick-off. “I tried my hardest. The team has ended for me, a decision made,” he said. However, many supporters in Argentina rallied to fight against his retirement decision. Fans organized marches and demonstrations in the streets and even then-president Mauricio Macri personally phoned Messi to try and get him to change his mind. “We are lucky, it is one of life’s pleasures, it is a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a footballing country like ours,” Marci stated. “Lionel Messi is the greatest thing we have in Argentina and we must take care of him.”  He ultimately switched his decision, qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Everything led up to his monumental win at the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup. Along with his team, he scored two goals in the final. Messi became the first player to score in each round of a World Cup and he received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament. He and the Argentine team were welcomed with open arms back in their home country on December 20, 2022, where their win is celebrated as a national holiday. “I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game. Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything,” said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, according to Reuters. “I am proud of the work they did,” he added while being teary-eyed. “I want to tell people to enjoy, it’s a historic moment for our country.”

Lionel Messi and The Art of Living By Andy West

The Art of Living

Courtesy: Pitch Publishing

Although the details of Messi’s story are already well known, The Art of Living examines afresh and anew his highs and lows, his successes and failures, his ongoing evolution and his endless struggle to succeed. It encourages us to consider, to analyze, and—above all—to think about Messi’s career from a different viewpoint, understanding how his journey can be related to our own lives on a meaningful and impactful level.

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