Lionel Messi confessed that playing in the 2022 World Cup may be out of his reach as he opened up on his ambition of winning silverware for Argentina.
Messi, who will turn 32 this month, has won almost everything in football at his beloved Barcelona. In total, 33 trophies have come his way at Camp Nou which include 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.
The forward has also collected a record-equaling five Ballon d’Ors, which he shares with rival Cristiano Ronaldo. While he wrapped up his sixth Europen Golden Shoe award upon scoring 36 La Liga goals in just 34 games this season.
Despite the numerous club and individual accolades, however, Messi finds himself still chasing glory at international level.
The Argentina captain has suffered his fair of heartbreaks after losing three Copa America finals and the 2014 World Cup final. These setbacks had briefly caused him to retire in 2016.
But it turns out Messi’s burning desire to succeed for Argentina remains as strong as ever.
“I want to finish my career and win something with the national team or try as many times as possible, not to be left with people who did not want me or bad comments towards me,” Messi told Fox Sports.
“Getting up, trying again, is the message for children who like to see me. That’s life, stumble and get back up and fight for your dreams.”
In the 2018 World Cup, Messi was only able to score once in four games as Argentina went crashing out in the last-16 stage to eventual winners France.
It had been a frustrating time in Russia for La Albiceleste, who ended up second in Group D to finalists Croatia.
But Messi wonders what may have happened had he not missed a late penalty in Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland in their Group D opener.
“The Russian thing was complicated by everything we lived,” he confessed.
“Russia was an atypical World Cup in many situations but I prefer to leave it there
“If I had put away the penalty against Iceland, it would have changed everything.”
The Barcelona superstar then admitted that the prospect of him making the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is an uncertainty. He will be 35 years old by the time the tournament commences in November 2022.
This will come as a blow for Argentina, who haven’t won the World Cup since 1986 during the Diego Maradona era.
“I do not know if I will reach the World Cup in Qatar. God will decide whether it is given to me or not,” said Messi.
“Today I feel great, very well physically, but I’m [almost] 32 years old and I don’t know how it’s going to go.
“A lot of things can happen, I hope I don’t have any serious injuries.”
Messi has scored a record 65 goals and provided 41 assists in 129 appearances for Argentina.
While the forward can’t guarantee himself for the 2022 World Cup, he will be around for this summer’s Copa America in Brazil.
Argentina will meet Colombia for their Group B opener on June 16.