2026 WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
Argentina defender Germán Pezzella: “I had to get an MLS Season Pass because of Lionel Messi!”
The Real Betis player has heaped praise on Inter Miami star Messi ahead of Argentina’s 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign starting.
After winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Inter Miami star Lionel Messi’s next challenge with the Argentina national team will be to lead his country to the 2026 tournament, which will take place in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Qualification begins on Thursday (7 September) as La Albiceleste host Ecuador, with a trip to Bolivia following at the start of next week (Tuesday 12 September).
Speaking ahead of the first of those two fixtures, defender Germán Pezzella spoke to the media in Argentina about Messi’s switch to Florida and was asked about whether the rest of the roster had seen any difference in their captain since his move to MLS.
Pezzella on Inter Miami Messi
“He looks like he’s really enjoying it. We’ve not seen him enjoy himself that much on the field in a long time. That makes us happy, knowing that he’s happy, he’s enjoying it and doing incredible things. You can see that he’s really enjoying being at his new club [...] I wish Messi could play for another 20 years. I had to get an MLS Season Pass because of him, I didn’t have one!”
The Real Betis centre-back also discussed Messi’s attitude towards the national team: “It motivates you because you see everything he has achieved but he still has the same hunger, the same desire to compete, whether that’s with the national team, at his previous club or now in the United States. We have to learn from what he shows us”.
Argentina next’s goal after World Cup win
As well as discussing Messi, Pezzella also reflected on Argentina’s World Cup win: “What happened was absolutely incredible but we have to keep showing the same respect to the jersey. We always have to go out and win, play soccer in the same way as we have been doing and focus on our next goal [...] We had such an amazing experience in Qatar, we want it to happen again”.