Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has claimed that superstar Lionel Messi could feature during the 2026 World Cup. The coach made the statement during an interview with Spanish radio station Calvia FM. Messi would turn 39 during the tournament held in North America.

“I think Messi can make it to the next World Cup,” said Scaloni. “It will depend a lot on what he wants and what happens over time, that he feels good. The doors will always be open. He is happy on the pitch, and for us [it] would be good.”

Despite the comments, Messi previously stated that the 2022 World Cup would be his last. “It’s my last World Cup, surely,” Messi told ESPN in October. “I’m counting down the days to the World Cup. There is anxiety and nerves at the same time. Wanting it to be now, what is going to happen, and ultimately, how is it going to go?”

Messi not slowing down before World Cup 2026

It’s fair to say that it went pretty well for him. Messi guided Argentina to their third World Cup title in history, his first with the team. Despite his advancing age, the superstar scored seven goals during the competition and was awarded as the top player of the tournament.

Messi has, however, suggested that he is not ready to retire just yet. He spoke on his future with Argentina following the World Cup Final. “I really enjoy being in the national team and being a part of this group,” stated Messi. “I want to continue experiencing more games [with the national team] as world champion.”

Coach claims Messi was one of the greats before World Cup

While winning the World Cup cemented his legacy, Scaloni also claimed that Messi did not necessarily need to win it to become the greatest of all time. “I think it wasn’t necessary for Messi to win a World Cup to be one of the greats or the greatest,” the coach continued. “It happens that more is always asked of him. Now I don’t know what is going to be asked of him.”

“Happy for him, but above all for the country, for the happiness that we gave ourselves, because being in Argentina these days, there is a euphoria that was really worth achieving.”