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Lionel Messi Says He's Not Retiring from Argentina Team After World Cup Win

Erin WalshDecember 18, 2022

Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the trophy after winning the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec.18, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Lionel Messi is finally a World Cup champion, but he has no plans to retire from the Argentina national team following its victory over France in the 2022 World Cup Final in Qatar on Sunday.

"No, I'm not gonna retire from the national team," Messi told TyC Sports, per insider Fabrizio Romano. "I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with Argentina shirt."

Messi scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute to give Argentina a 1-0 lead before Ángel Di María made it a 2-0 game in the 36th minute.

La Albiceleste held on to that 2-0 lead over France entering halftime at Lusail Stadium before chaos ensued late in the second half and in extra time to produce one of the most exciting World Cup finals ever.

France's Kylian Mbappé scored on a penalty kick in the 80th minute to give Les Bleus some life, and he scored again in the 81st minute to tie the game, leaving Argentinian fans shell-shocked.

Argentina and France continued to trade blows in extra time as Messi scored his second of the game in the 108th minute to put his country up 3-2. But just when La Albiceleste thought it had secured the victory, Mbappé found the back of the net in the 118th minute on a penalty kick.

With the game tied 3-3 after 120 minutes, Argentina won the match 4-2 on penalties to secure Messi his first World Cup trophy.

The 35-year-old won the Golden Ball as the best player of the World Cup after scoring seven goals and registering three assists in Qatar. He also won the Golden Ball in 2014 and is the first player in history to win the award twice.

One of the best players to ever take the field, Messi made his debut for Argentina's senior national team in 2005. In addition to winning the 2022 World Cup, Messi has helped Argentina capture gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and win the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 Finalissima.

It was widely believed that the 2022 World Cup would be his last, but now that he has shut down retirement rumors, he could lead Argentina at the 2026 World Cup, when he'll turn 39.

If Messi wants to return to the World Cup in four years, he'll surely make it happen, even if he may not be the same level of player.