Argentina boss makes Messi 2026 World Cup claim

Lionel Messi and Lionel Scaloni
Lionel Messi and Lionel Scaloni

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has made a bold claim about Lionel Messi's prospects of participating at the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America.

Messi's future with his national team remains under speculation as some had expected the 35-year-old to hang up his international boots following the Albiceleste's sensational World Cup triumph in Qatar. 

Read: WATCH: Messi's sensational 1st goal since WC final

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar stated before that tournament that it would be his last showing at the event, but after winning the famous trophy, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner later made it clear he intended to continue playing for his country.

By the time the next World Cup, which will be hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico, gets underway Messi will be 39 years old, so he would become the second-oldest player ever to represent the Albiceleste since forward Angel Labruna did so at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden if he does play at the showpiece.

With some believing Messi would not be physically up to it in 2026, his national team boss Scaloni has insisted otherwise.

"I think Messi can get to the next World Cup," the 44-year-old told Radio Calvia.

"It will depend a lot on what he wants, on whether he feels good.

"The doors will always be open. But he is happy on the pitch and it would be very nice for us."

Read: Barca ordered to pay R155 million to ex-player

Messi returned to club action on Wednesday night, netting his first goal of 2023 in PSG's 2-0 win over Angers, with his manager Galtier lauding the superstar after the game.

"Today again we saw the best player in the world," he told Prime Video.

"Leo wanted to play, came back physically well, and when we have him on the field, we are guaranteed chances.

"He was able to play the whole match, that's very good."

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