Argentina Manager Sets Condition For Messi's World Cup Return

Lionel Scaloni has said Lionel Messi could represent Argentina at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Scaloni has said Lionel Messi could represent Argentina at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina's head coach has revealed the one condition Lionel Messi will need to meet if he is to be named in the Albiceleste's next FIFA World Cup squad.

Transfer Update: Lionel Messi

Ahead of the tournament in the Middle East, the seven-time Ballon d'or winner declared that the 2022 World Cup would be his last.

The narrative surrounding his international future has changed, however, since the 35-year-old was able to inspire his teammates to triumph in Qatar, where he contributed to 10 goals in seven matches.

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has already stated that he is hopeful Messi will turn out for the world champions at the next edition of the showpiece, and insisted again in a recent interview that, if the Paris Saint-Germain man is fit, he would be included.

"Being in the next World Cup will be Leo's decision; if his body can take it for me, he will be there," he said, according to ESPN Colombia.

Scaloni also explained what it meant to lift the prestigious trophy after beating France in the final at the Lusail Stadium.

"Behind our title, there was a communion of intentions between the fans, the staff and the players, something emotional that made sense of belonging for this unique shirt even stronger," he added.

"Then, having a player like Messi was, and is, obviously, an advantage. As a former teammate, training him is beautiful. I see how the other players look at him and follow him. He's the best."

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Messi is the all-time record appearance-maker at World Cups, having taken to the field on 26 occasions over the course of five tournaments. 

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