- Messi won Copa America in 2021
- Followed it with World Cup win in 2022
- Claims there's nothing left to achieve
WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentine skipper had struggled to win silverware with his national team until inspiring them to Copa America glory in 2021, which served as a prelude to his glorious coronation at the 2022 World Cup. Messi won his second Golden Ball in Qatar after recording seven goals and three assists during Argentina's run to their third global title. The 35-year-old feels that the World Cup triumph has arrived at the perfect moment to cap off his illustrious career as arguably the greatest player of all time.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think if I had to choose the moment, it would have been this one," Messi said in an interview with UrbanaPlay. "It's at the end of my career, closing a cycle. I achieved everything with the national team I always dreamed. I got everything in my career, individually. It was about closing my career in a unique way. I never imagined that all this was going to happen to me when I started, and getting to this moment was the best. I have no complaints and I can't ask for more. We won the Copa America [in 2021] and the World Cup, there's nothing left."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi regrets that Diego Maradona couldn't witness Argentina win another World Cup, with the Albiceleste icon having passed away at the age of 60 in November 2020. The Paris Saint-Germain forward added: "I would have liked Diego to give me the cup, or at least to see all this, to see Argentina as world champions, with everything he wanted and how he loved the national team. I think from above, he – like a lot of people who love me – were strong."
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner will be back in club action with PSG on Wednesday in a Ligue 1 encounter against Montpellier.