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Messi’s next World Cup may be his last

Sports 03 Nov, 2021 Follow News

Lionel Messi is running out of time to win the World Cup

Lionel Messi says he has not given any thought about retiring after next year's World Cup, adding he would love to be Barcelona sporting director when he retires.

The six-time Ballon D'Or winner will be 35 by the time the World Cup comes round in Qatar next year. It’s a trophy that has eluded him through his stellar career and he is sick of all the criticism it brings. This is probably his last chance.

Messi is signed to French Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain till June 2023 — with the option of an extra year — after leaving his beloved Barcelona in August.

He admitted this week that retirement is not on the agenda. Like big rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who is 36, Messi wants to continue playing for as long as possible.

“No, truthfully, no,” he said regarding hanging up his boots. “After all that has happened to me, I just live day to day, year after year. I do not know what is going to happen at the World Cup or after it. I am not thinking about it.”

Messi added that leaving Barcelona after two decades had been a huge wrench but he will return one day to live and possibly be the sporting director.

Xavi, his long-time teammate during the glory years at Barca — winning amongst other silverware four Champions League trophies — is the favourite to return to the club as head coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman last week.

Messi must be inspired by Ronaldo who dragged Manchester United over the line once again with another moment of brilliance against Atalanta in the Champions League Tuesday.

Ronaldo saved United again with a stunning volley in second-half stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw with Atalanta.

Duvan Zapata had put Atalanta back in front in the second half, cancelling out Ronaldo's first equaliser, until Mason Greenwood teed up the 36-year-old Portuguese to fire home another brilliant first-time volley - just as he did against Spurs on Saturday.


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