Lionel Messi has achieved untouchable success and greatness with his World Cup triumph last year with Argentina. He is enjoying a decent season with PSG as well. However, one of his legendary countrymen thinks that Leo lacks the motivation to continue and take part in the upcoming 2026 World Cup.
Leo Messi achieved his lifelong dream last year to win the World Cup with Argentina last year. He put up an exceptional showing throughout the tournament. Messi scored 7 goals and assisted 3 times to win the Golden Ball for being the best player of the tournament. His brace against France in the final was extremely crucial to nullify Kylian Mbappe’s unbelievable hat trick in the final.
After winning the World Cup, however, Lionel Messi missed three matches for PSG. And it’s fair to say that the French giants missed him. It was evident that the Argentine is fully indulged in his post-World Cup winning celebrations. However, when he finally returned in the second week of January, he changed the landscape of the squad.
⏱ 90+5′ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 19, 2023
Messi put in some superb performances in the Ligue 1 and almost singlehandedly won matches. PSG’s first leg against Bayern didn’t go as planned, however, despite having the iconic attacking trio available for the clash. It will be difficult for the Parisians to go and get a result in the Allianz Arena, with the potential absence of Neymar Jr. due to a nasty injury. Yesterday also, a 95th-minute freekick by Messi secured a 4-3 PSG win against Lille.
Fans back Lionel Messi after Mario Kempes’s comments
Lionel Messi himself said before the World Cup final that, the final of the World Cup will be his last international match, regardless of its result. After the win, however, Messi decided to play a few matches in the Argentina jersey as World Champion. Speculations were already there regarding his chances to play in the 2026 edition of the World Cup.
Mario Kempes, an Argentinean World Cup-winning great himself talked about Messi playing in the World Cup in 2026. He said, “He lacks that extra motivation to do what he did during the World Cup. Hopefully, he’ll do it again, it’s costing him a little. He’s in a league that isn’t one of the best, but he feels comfortable there. He can stay there for 3 and a half years if he stays and thinks he can play another World Cup,” about Leo.
Imagine Lionel Messi at the 2026 World Cup 🥵 pic.twitter.com/y228qBddtO
— GOAL (@goal) January 3, 2023
A Reddit post was made and fans talked about what Kempes said doesn’t make much sense. One fan commented, “It’s about age not motivation lol. Professional athletes can’t play forever,” stating the obvious age factor. Another fan said, “Can’t blame him. If I were to be Messi, I’d play as a hobby now. Completed every achievement,” correctly talking about Leo achieving everything possible.
One Redditor commented, “He’s already 35 and started very young. So, I’m already surprised he continues with Argentina,” again talking about his age. One fan drew a conclusion and said, “Nothing more to prove, would be regarded as the greatest,” about the 36 nearing Argentine.
Lionel Messi will be 39 by the North American World Cup in 2026. And it is unrealistic to expect him to play at that age, considering he has nothing left to win either at a club or international level. However, the quality of the little Argentine can defy all odds in the next three years.