Messi vows to continue to represent Argentina after World Cup win

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  • Post published:December 19, 2022

Argentina star Lionel Messi has vowed to continue playing for his country despite finally adding the World Cup title to his list of honours.

“I want to keep experiencing a few more matches as world champion,” Messi, 35, told Argentine television following the country’s epic penalty shoot-out victory over France in the World Cup final in Doha.

Messi said his career was over after the Argentina captain won the last major international trophy he was missing.

In a dramatic and chaotic final that ended 3-3 after 120 riveting minutes, the Paris Saint-Germain forward scored twice before the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner netted his spot-kick in the shoot-out that Argentina won 4-2.

“Obviously I would like to end my career with this, I cannot ask for more,” said Messi.

“My career is nearly over because these are my last years.”

Messi has had a lot of bad luck on the biggest stages of football, including losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany in Brazil. But he said he always knew his time would come, even after all those losses.

“It’s crazy that it happened at the time it happened, but it’s amazing,” he said.

“It’s amazing that it could end this way. I said previously that God was going to grant me this and I don’t know why but I felt it was going to be this time.”

Messi then talked about the game itself. He said it was hard to explain how Argentina could have lost a two-goal lead late in the game for the second time in a week after beating the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

Argentina was up 2-0 at halftime and 3-2 in extra time, but a hat-trick by Kylian Mbappe, with two late goals in regular time and one in extra time, put France back in front and sent the game to penalties.

“It was a very strange match, the same as the other one against the Netherlands, and then when we went ahead in extra-time it happened again,” said Messi.

But, he added, the World Cup trophy “is beautiful.”

photo by EPA/Tolga Bozoglu