"We have to leave the door open" - Sergio Aguero on possibility of Argentina captain Lionel Messi playing 2026 World Cup
Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero believes there's a possibility that Inter Miami-bound Argentina captain Lionel Messi could play the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Messi, whose Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) contract expires on June 30, has confirmed that he will be joining MLS side Inter Miami. In a joint interview with Spanish outlets Mundo Deportivo and SPORT, Messi said that he wanted to move away from the spotlight and enjoy his day-to-day a little more. He added that he's excited to enjoy American football and play with more peace of mind.
Messi’s good friend Aguero feels that the relatively laid-back nature of American football could prolong the Argentina icon’s international career.
When asked if there was a chance that Messi could play the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Aguero said (via @AlbicelesteTalk):
“With this move, we have to leave the door open for the 2026 World Cup, let’s see.”
Lionel Messi enjoyed his best World Cup campaign in Qatar last year. Scoring seven goals and claiming three assists in seven games, he helped Argentina to their first World Cup win in 36 years.
Messi has played a record 26 World Cup games across five editions, scoring 13 times and providing eight assists. If he plays in 2026 in the US, Mexico and Canada, he will be the first player to feature in six World Cups.
Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi formed formidable pairing for Argentina
Lionel Messi left Barcelona the same summer Sergio Aguero joined, meaning the two close friends never got to represent the same club. However, they wreaked a lot of havoc when playing for together La Albiceleste over 16 years.
The pair represented three Albiceleste sides together. They started off in the U-20 side, played for the Olympic team and finally represented the senior team. They represented Argentina a total of 90 times together, combining for 18 goals, winning the 2005 U-20 World Cup, 2008 Olympic gold and 2021 Copa America.