Messi will continue his career in Argentina after winning the World Cup

Argentine star Lionel Messi on Sunday vowed to keep playing for his country despite finally realizing his lifelong ambition to win the World Cup.

“I want to keep experiencing a few more matches as a world champion,” Messi, 35, told Argentine television after his country’s epic penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final in Doha.

But Messi admitted his career was all but over after the Argentina captain claimed the only major international trophy missing from his collection.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored twice in the shocking and chaotic final that ended 3-3 after an absorbing 120 minutes, before the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored his penalty in the shootout Argentina won 4 – two.

“Obviously I would like to end my career with this, I can’t ask for more,” Messi said.

“My career is almost over because these are my last years.”

And after so many disappointments on football’s biggest stage, including a 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany in Brazil, Messi said he always felt his time would come.

“It’s crazy that it happened at the time it happened, but it’s unbelievable,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable that it could end this way. I previously said that God was going to grant me this and I don’t know why but I felt that it was going to be this time.

Turning his attention to the game itself, Messi said it was difficult to explain after Argentina blew a two-goal lead late in the match for the second time, following their quarterfinal win over the Netherlands a week earlier.

Argentina led 2-0 at half-time and went up 3-2 after extra time, but a Kylian Mbappé hat-trick, with two late goals in normal time and another in extra time, pinned Argentina and brought the game to a close. the penalties. .

“It was a very strange game, just like the other one against the Netherlands, and then when we went ahead in extra time it happened again,” Messi said.

But, he added, the World Cup trophy “is beautiful.”

Messi hugged his family and teammates after the game, while coach Lionel Scaloni, winger Ángel Di María, scorer of Argentina’s second goal, and goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez could not contain their tears after the final whistle.

Messi has played 172 times for Argentina, scoring 98 goals since making his debut in 2005.


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