Argentina legend Messi says 2022 World Cup will be his last
Lionel Messi will have one last opportunity to win football's most famous trophy after the Argentina icon confirmed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be his final appearance at the tournament.
"There's some anxiety and nerves at the same time. It is the last one," Messi, 35, said in an interview with Star Plus, according to ESPN.
The upcoming World Cup, which begins Nov. 20, will be Messi's fifth appearance at FIFA's showpiece event.
It's unclear if Messi plans to retire from the national team after the competition.
An appearance in the 2014 World Cup final is the furthest Messi has gotten to lifting the coveted World Cup trophy. The South American nation failed to replicate its success in Brazil during the 2018 World Cup after being eliminated in the round of 16.
Argentina - ranked third by FIFA - is widely considered one of the favorites heading into the World Cup after going unbeaten over the last 35 matches.
Messi, however, thinks otherwise.
"In a World Cup, anything can happen. All the matches are very tough. The favorites don't always end up winning," Messi said. "I don't know if we're the favorites, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history. Now even more so because of the moment we're in, but we are not the favorites. I think there are other teams that are above us."
The 2021 Copa America remains the only major trophy Messi, who made his first World Cup appearance in 2006, has ever won with Argentina. He's Argentina's all-time leading scorer with 90 goals since debuting in 2005.
Argentina last won the World Cup in 1986, eight years after its first triumph on home soil at the 1978 edition of the tournament.
Lionel Scaloni's Argentina side will kick off the World Cup against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 22 before games against Mexico and Poland in Group C.
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