Lionel Messi casts doubt over his chances of playing at 2026 World Cup in USA, Canada and Mexico – with Inter Miami star to turn 39 that summer

Lionel Messi is unsure whether he will make it to the 2026 World Cup after admitting ‘age is a reality that is there’.

Messi, who finally lifted the World Cup with Argentina at Qatar’s winter showpiece 18 months ago, will turn 39 during the 2026 tournament in USA, Canada and Mexico.

The Argentina captain is still set to lead his country at this summer’s Copa America, where they will bid to defend their crown after prevailing in 2021, having scored 14 goals in 15 games for Inter Miami so far this season.

Beyond that, however, Messi does not know what the future holds for him at international level. 

He said about his chances of playing at the World Cup in 2026: ‘It depends on how I feel, how I am physically and being realistic with myself. And to know if I am up to the task of being able to compete and help the colleagues next to me.

Lionel Messi is unsure whether he will make it to the 2026 World Cup with Argentina

Messi led Argentina to World Cup glory at Qatar’s winter showpiece back in December 2022

‘There’s a while left and I don’t know how I’m going to be at that moment.

‘Age is also a reality that is there, although it is a number, the games that I am going to play are not the same as the ones I played when I was in Europe in competition, which were every three days, or in the Champions League or in the League where I was, both in France and in Spain.

‘But it depends on how I feel and how I feel when I’m next to my teammates and see if I’m still up to the task or not.’

Despite approaching his 37th birthday, Messi is continuing to write his name into the history books over in Miami.

Last weekend the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner became the fastest player to reach 25 goal contributions in a season, achieving the feat in a mere 12 games after scoring in a 3-3 draw with St. Louis.

He is now set to put club duty on hold to join up with Argentina ahead of the Copa America, with the team’s first group game coming against Canada on June 20.

The reigning champions then face Chile five days later before concluding their group stage against Peru on June 29.

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