Lionel Messi breaks silence on international retirement after spearheading Argentina to 2022 FIFA World Cup glory

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Messi vows to continue playing for Argentina.

Argentina hero Lionel Messi has announced that he will not retire from international football after winning the FIFA World Cup.

La Albiceleste secured a memorable 4-2 penalty shootout victory over France on Sunday (December 18). Messi, 35, finally got his hands on the FIFA World Cup but is not set to end his international career just yet.

He told reporters after the final win over France (via Fabrizio Romano):

“No, I’m NOT gonna retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with (the) Argentina shirt."

Messi spearheaded Argentina's win over France, getting on the scoresheet twice in an enthralling encounter at the Lusail Stadium. The game finished 3-3 and headed to a shootout that La Albiceleste eventually won.

There were question marks over Messi's international future leading up to the final, as he had announced that this would be his last FIFA World Cup. Many anticipated that the Paris Saint-Germain attacker might call time on his playing career with Argentina, but he wants to continue as a world champion.

Messi added (via AlbicelesteTalk):

“This was the trophy I wanted all my life. This was my dream from childhood.”

He ended the 2022 FIFA World Cup with seven goals and three assists in seven g, pickingames up the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.

The Argentina icon made his debut in 2005 and has managed 98 goals and 55 assists in 172 appearances for the team. Messi will return to PSG as club football resumes, with the Parisians' first competitive game being against Strasbourg on December 28.


England duo proclaim Lionel Messi as greatest of all time after Argentine wins FIFA World Cup

England duo laud the Argentina great.
England duo laud the Argentina great.

England midfielder James Maddison praised Lionel Messi as the greatest player of all time following Argentina's win over France in the 2022 World Cup final.

The Leicester City man said that the result wouldn't have mattered in proclaiming Messi as the best player but that he's glad the GOAT debate has ended. He tweeted:

"For those who know football know that tonights result didn’t determine whether Messi was the best player ever or not. But yet I’m so happy he did for the people who thought he needed it, so now there’s no debate."

Maddison's compatriot Jesse Lingard, who played alongside Messi's longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo, echoed those sentiments. He tweeted:

"Messi the (goat emoji)"

Messi indeed had a dream campaign, scoring in all four knockout rounds to end Argentina's 36-year wait for the FIFA World Cup.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett