Messi will be 39 during the 2026 World Cup hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The Argentina team captain holds the record for goals and appearances for the national team, with 90 goals in 164 appearances.
“If it is my last World Cup?” he said. “Yes, surely yes, surely yes. I feel good physically – I can have a very good pre-season this year that I hadn’t done the year before because of how everything went.
“I started training late, playing without rhythm, with the tournament already started – then I went to the national team. When I came back I had an injury, and I never finished starting.”
Messi also highlighted that several squad members have not previously played at the World Cup and nerves may be an issue.
“Many boys are going to play their first World Cup, their first game,” he added. “Whether you like that anxiety or not, you don’t know how each one will handle it.
“It will be full of Argentines, and that makes you play faster. It is very important to win the first game and It’s not going to be easy.
“The last World Cup we thought it was going to be easy, that we were going to be first in the group and we were looking at the crosses – and no.
“There is anxiety – nerves for the World Cup.”
Messi admitted that Albicelestes are one of the favourites but admitted that anything can happen at the tournament.
“The favourites are not always the ones that end up winning or going the way that one expected,” said Messi.
“I don’t know if we are the great candidates, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history and what it means. But we are not the top favourites – there are other teams that are above us.”
Messi has started the season in phenomenal form, netting eight goals and eight assists in 13 games.
He has hit top form just in time for the World Cup. Argentina start their campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22, and Messi will be key to their hopes of winning the title.
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