Argentine star Lionel Andres Messi has confirmed that he will retire from international football after the FIFA World Cup 2022 final on Sunday.
The Argentina captain, who scored from a penalty and played equally important in the other two goals scored by Julian Alvarez in a 3-0 win against Croatia to take his country to the final, said the final will be his very last.
“I feel very happy to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final,” Messi told Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Ole.
“It’s many years for the next one and I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it’s the best,” he added.
The 35-year-old is playing at his fifth World Cup, surpassing the four Diego Maradona and Javier Mascherano played for Argentina.
With his fifth goal in Qatar, he also surpassed Gabriel Batistuta as the top Albiceleste scorer at the World Cup, netting 11 times.
“It’s all well and good (the records), but the important thing is to be able to achieve the group objective, which is the most beautiful thing of all,” Messi added. “We’re just one step away, after fighting hard, and we’re going to give everything to try to make it happen this time.”
This will be Messi’s last chance to lift the World Cup before calling it quits. He ended up as a runner-up after losing to Germany in the 2014 final in Brazil.
This article was first published by football256.com and relayed by kick442.com as an official media partner.