Lionel Messi talks Copa América, World Cup and Lewandowski
The Albiceleste captain is not ruling out playing at the 2026 World Cup.
Once again Lionel Messi has spoken about his future with the Argentina national team and the possibility of playing at the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The Inter Miami player discussed his future and how he went about winning the World Cup with Argentina in a special series launched by Star+ and ESPN ‘Campeones, un año después’, in which the Argentinian spoke to Sebastián Vignolo about all kinds of topics.
2026 World Cup
On playing in the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Messi acknowledged that due to his age, it could be tough to get there, although he did not rule it out. However, he stressed that his main focus is to get to the 2024 Copa América in the United States.
“I will always try to compete to my maximum and I’ll be the first to know if I can be there or not. I am aware that I went to a lesser league, but I think it’s also a personal thing about the way you face it and compete. As long as I feel good and I can continue to contribute, I’m going to do it.
“Today all I’m thinking about is getting to the Copa América and being able to play in it and hopefully be able to fight again and try to be champions and then time will tell if I’m there or not. The reality is that I’m going to be at an age that normally doesn’t allow one to play at a World Cup and that’s why I said I don’t think I’ll be there, but now I want to be here [Argentina] more than ever because after spending so many years suffering and now that we’re experiencing a special moment that I’ve never experienced before, I want to enjoy it and I feel good with the group. I want to take advantage of all that without thinking about two or three years’ time, which in football is a lot.
“I’m not thinking about the World Cup, but I’m not saying 100% that I won’t be there because anything can happen. Because of my age and situation, the most normal thing is that I won’t be there, but then we’ll see how far it goes and maybe we’ll do well in the Copa América and everything will work out for me to continue or maybe not, I can’t say yes or no,” said the Argentina captain.
Messi recalls clash with Lewandowski at 2022 World Cup
Going over each of the seven matches Argentina played in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Messi reviewed the clash he had with Robert Lewandowski during the game against Poland, in which he acknowledged that Lewandowski’s statements about the 2022 Ballon d’Or bothered him, which led him to argue with the now Barcelona striker, although shortly after both came to their senses and agreed that it was a misunderstanding.
“I was really annoyed by the statements he [Lewandowski] had made, because the truth is that when I won the Ballon d’Or, the way he spoke annoyed me.
“Afterwards we talked about it and we spoke to each other and it was said that it was a misunderstanding. During the match it was heated, but afterwards we spoke when he was in Barcelona... We talked about many things, about the club, the city and everything was fine, but it did bother me,” he added.
Maradona was there for Messi and Argentina
Vignolo questioned Messi on whether Diego Maradona was in the thoughts of the group during the World Cup, to which the Argentine star acknowledged that Maradona was always present and it was a great joy to win the World Cup and to be able to dedicate it to him.
“Throughout the World Cup Diego was always present, because we were playing with the national team, and when the national team plays, Diego is present in the songs in the stands, all the people always mention him and have a memory of him, so he is always present,” Messi said.