20221214_Messi(C)Getty images

'To finish this way is brilliant' - Messi confirms Qatar final will be his last World Cup game for Argentina

  • Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 to qualify for final
  • Messi's second World Cup final in his career
  • The skipper confirms he won't be back in 2026

WHAT HAPPENED? The 35-year-old opened the scoring from the spot against Croatia and provided Julian Alvarez with an assist for one of his two goals as Argentina ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Messi can now look forward to his second World Cup final appearance, having finished as a runner-up in 2014. It has been suggested that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar could retire from Argentina duty after the final, and he has admitted that it will at the very least be his last appearance in World Cup competition.

WHAT THEY SAID: "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," Messi told reporters after the game.

"Everything that 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.''

Article continues below

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi went on to insist that Argentina will give everything to get their hands on the much-coveted trophy after 36 years of hurt. "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,'' he added. ''I have been enjoying it the last 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.''


Lionel-Messi(C)Getty Images20221213 Rodrigo De Paul Lionel MessiGetty ImagesMessi World Cup 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? The seven-time Ballon d'or winner will be keeping an eye on Wednesday's second semi-final between Morocco and France as Argentina wait to see who they will face in the final on December 18.