Lionel Messi is ‘happy to have achieved everything’ and discusses retirement

Lionel Messi is ‘happy to have achieved everything’ and discusses retirement

Lionel Messi is not looking for an early retirement and wants to keep playing for a very long time.

Lionel Messi created history while breaking his own record yesterday in Paris. The Argentina and Inter Miami captain won his 8th Ballon d’Or. He became the player with the most number of Ballon d’Or awards. Especially winning the trophy at his age, it also made him the second-oldest Ballon d’Or winner. However, after winning the award, Messi said that he’s happy with everything he’s has achieved so far and this is his last Ballon d’Or. He also said that he still wants to play for a long time.

At the age of 35 years old, Lionel Messi won his first-ever World Cup last year. It was already set to be his last World Cup appearance. His contribution to their win was immeasurable. It led to Argentine winning the World Cup for the first time in 36 years. He won the most number (5) of Player of the Match awards in the history of the tournament. He bagged the Golden Ball trophy and missed out on the Golden Boot trophy with the difference of only a single goal.

All these amazing achivements led to Messi winning the Ballon d’Or this year. He became the player with most number (8) of Ballon d’Or awards. He also became the second-oldest player in to win the award in its history. The first place is occupied by Stanley Matthews who won the trophy at 41 years of age in the award’s inauguration year back in 1956. After winning such an accolade, Messi told L’Equipe, “[I] stopped thinking about the Ballon d’Or. I think it’s my last Ballon d’Or.”

He added, “And I’m happy to have achieved everything I’ve achieved and to be the only player with eight Ballons d’Or. And that’s all.” Messi was still playing full matches with Inter Miami at only 3-4 day gaps. This increases the risk of injuries and fatigue at his age. He did get injured and had to stay sidelined until only a few weeks ago. Even so, his fans are expecting him to stay on the field for a few more magical years.

Argentina and Inter Miami ace Lionel Messi says he's happy to have achieved it all and isn't thinking about more after Ballon d'Or 2023 win

It seems Messi shares the sentiment with his fans. When asked about his retirement plans, Messi told L’Equipe, “When I want to play for a very long time. We’ll have to see how I feel physically. I can’t give a date. Things change from one day to the next. But I hope it will last a very long time. for a long time, because that’s what I love doing.” However, there is a chance he might not play in the World Cup 2026 when he will be 39 years of age.

When Messi was previously asked, he said, he will not participate in the 2026 World Cup. However, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said if Messi can play even at that age, they will always have a place for him. Looking at Messi’s fitness, performance, and willingness to keep playing, it seems that there is still some time for his retirement to come along. As Messi said, it will have to be taken one step at a time depending upon his health at this stage.


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