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One Last Hurrah | Lionel Messi to retire from international football after the 2022 World Cup

The Argentine international has risen to legendary status across the global footballing landscape but this winter will be the last dance for a player who has never won the World Cup despite defining the very state of football


The footballing world is set to be stripped of one of the game’s greatest-ever players on the international stage after Argentine icon Lionel Messi has called time on his career in service of his country after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Messi has finally settled into his new life in the French capital and looks closer to the version of himself at Barcelona that helped him rise to guaranteed status as a legend of the game, but the stain on his record in football was always the lack of a World Cup win.

By comparison, the man who millions have compared him to for the entirety of his career - the late, great, Diego Maradona - achieved a global triumph in 1986 while helping Argentina to their second World Cup win.

Though Messi has undoubtedly had the more glistening club career when stacked against Maradona, for years he has come under fire for his inability to get Argentina over the line on the international stage both at the World Cup as well as Copa America.

Thankfully for him, Argentina won the South American tournament in 2021 for the first time since 1993 after finishing runner-up on a number of occasions with Messi leading the way. This winter will be his final chance to set the record straight on an even bigger stage, with heartbreak in 2014 coming once again as Argentina fell to Germany in Brazil.

But this Argentina is different, perhaps this winter will follow that trend after La Albiceleste has embarked on a 34-match unbeaten run under Lionel Scaloni with a squad that has the talent to spare in all areas of the pitch for the first time in years, and a tactical schematic that no longer focuses play solely through Messi.

If there was ever a moment to remember in the history of the sport, it would be arguably the game’s best-ever player lifting the one trophy that has managed to elude him for the entirety of a career that has defined a player, a club, a nation, and the sport as a whole.


Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.



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