The president of the Argentine Football Federation says that he sees “Messi at the 2026 World Cup”
The president of the Argentine Football Federation says that “Leo is happy in the National Team” and that he sees him playing at the 2026 World Cup.
The president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio ‘Chiqui’ Tapia, said on Tuesday that he “imagines” Lionel Messi at the 2026 World Cup and that the captain of the team, who is 36-years-old, can “easily” play at the next showpiece event.
“Yes, I imagine [Messi] there and I would like him to be there,” said Tapia during his participation in the Sport Summit Leaders event, which is held in Buenos Aires, adding that, “with the physical conditions he has, he can easily play at the 2026 World Cup”.
‘Without a doubt I dream about’ Messi at 2026 World Cup
Messi will be close to 40-years-old when the next edition of the tournament, which will be played in Canada, the United States and Mexico, comes around. “I see him in the World Cup playing in the position that he wants to play because he can do it... it will depend on what he wants, but without a doubt I dream about that too”, Tapia said. “The key is to be happy and Leo is happy in the National Team, when he comes to the facilities, when he trains, when he plays. And it shows,” added the president of AFA.
After praising the “best player in the world”, saying that “he always goes for more” and “he always surprises”, the Federation leader pointed out that Messi’s participation in the next World Cup “depends on him, on his desire” and “on his hunger to win things”.
However, before that there is another appointment with the Albiceleste: the Copa América 2024, which Tapia says would make managers and fans “happy” to see Messi. Tapia also mentioned that Messi “is happy with the team,” and with the group led by Lionel Scaloni.
Tapia says he ‘loves seeing Messi do well’
The Inter Miami forward arrived in Argentina on Tuesday 5 September to join up with the rest of the squad as they look towards the double date of the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
“I love seeing him doing well, with new challenges and continuing to win things, it’s incredible,” said Tapia, who was enthusiastic when he spoke: “He’s making everyone turn their heads to watch a sport that many didn’t watch” and that the league “is more competitive than it was... I am lucky for the relationship I have with him, because it is truly affectionate,” said the president of the AFA, who declared himself both “proud” and “blessed” for what the captain has given to Argentina.
Argentina begin their defence of the world title achieved in Qatar this Thursday, with the match against Ecuador (which you can follow on AS USA). From there, they will travel to La Paz, where the team will face Bolivia. “It’s still a mega-difficult tie”, said Tapia, “they are games that you want to have in another moment.”