Lionel Messi has admitted that he may consider retirement, at least from the international scene, after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Speaking after he helped his side to a 3-0 win over Venezuela in their World Cup qualifiers, the legendary Argentine revealed that he will have plenty to consider regardless of the outcome of the tournament, sparking fears that he may retire for a second time. after reversing his decision to do so in 2016.
'After the World Cup I'm going to have to rethink a lot of things, whether it goes well or goes badly', he told reporters shortly after his strike had secured their latest victory.
Should Messi retire, it would mark the end of an era for Argentinian football, with Sergio Aguero already having done so and Angel Di Maria seemingly on the cusp of doing so too after posting on Instagram that 'It was my last game with this shirt in Argentina'.
While Julian Alvarez is incredibly well thought of and Lautaro Martinez remains an experienced goal threat, the aforementioned trio will be near-on impossible to replace.
Messi's club future
It is also hard to see a future without Messi at club level, but we are finally approaching the time when that will become a reality, with both Messi and Ronaldo now well into their 30s and beyond their prime.
Currently struggling at Paris Saint Germain, and booed by the French supporters after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid, Messi seems unlikely to remain in the French capital beyond the end of his 2 year contract, which will expire next summer.
Whether he deems that time to hang up his boots, or opts for one last stint elsewhere, is still a mystery.