Messi: Final will be last World Cup game for Argentina

Messi will play his final World Cup game on Sunday. PHOTO/AFP 

What you need to know:

Messi, who plays for French giants Paris St-Germain, is one of only six men to have appeared in five World Cups, along with German Lothar Matthaus, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, and Antonio Carbajal, Andres Guardado and Rafael Marquez of Mexico. 


Argentina captain Lionel Messi says Sunday's final will be the last World Cup game of his career.

The 35-year-old forward scored his fifth goal of Qatar 2022 and helped set up two others in Tuesday's 3-0 semi-final win over Croatia.

Playing in his fifth World Cup, Messi has never won the game's biggest prize.

"I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying," he said.

"Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina.

"There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don't think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant."

Messi is set to make a record 26th appearance in a men's World Cup. The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Messi has won the Ballon d'Or - awarded to the world's best player - a record seven times and been named Fifa Best Men's Player once.

Other honours include four Champions Leagues, 11 top-flight titles and Copa America glory with Argentina in 2021.

The World Cup is the one glaring omission, Argentina having lost to Germany in the 2014 final in Brazil.

"We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now, so that this time it really happens - we really win it," said Messi, who retired from international duty in June 2016 before reversing his decision two months later.

"I have been enjoying it the past few years, being with the national side. I am really enjoying everything that is happening to us.

"To get the Copa America, to reach the World Cup with 36 games unbeaten, and to finish all that trajectory in a final is just incredible.

"I hope the people in Argentina enjoy themselves and what we are doing. They shouldn't doubt we are giving absolutely everything."

Messi, who plays for French giants Paris St-Germain, is one of only six men to have appeared in five World Cups, along with German Lothar Matthaus, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, and Antonio Carbajal, Andres Guardado and Rafael Marquez of Mexico.

Currently in the Golden Boot race in Qatar alongside France's Kylian Mbappe, Messi became the first Argentina player to score in four World Cups and also became their record World Cup scorer with 11 goals.

He made his Argentina debut at the age of 18 in 2005 and has scored 97 goals in 172 games.

 LIONEL ANDRÉS MESSI

D.O.B: June 24, 1987 (age 35)

Place of birth: Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina

Height: 1.70 m (5ft 7 in)

Position: Forward

Current team: Paris Saint-Germain

Youth career

1992–1995 Grandoli

1995–2000 Newell's Old Boys

2000–2003 Barcelona

Senior career

2003–2004: Barcelona C

2004–2005: Barcelona B        

2004–2021: Barcelona

2021–To date: Paris Saint-Germain

National team

2005– To date: Argentina 171 games (96 goals)

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.