Lionel Messi is all set to lead Argentina to battle once again as the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Qatar on November 20. Argentina is expected to be one of the favorites for the World Cup given how strong they have been in recent years. The Copa America champions are also on a 36-game unbeaten streak and demolished UAE 5-0 in the pre-World Cup friendly recently.
Messi is all set to join an exclusive club of players
including Cristiano Ronaldo, Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Gianluigi Buffon, and Rafael Marquez as the only players to have appeared in five FIFA World Cups.
Argentina will begin its World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22. They will then take on Mexico on November 27 followed by their final Group C opponents Poland on December 1.
The Argentine captain is expected to be instrumental in what is likely his final World Cup campaign and Messi even confirmed the same in an interview with CONMEBOL recently.
Speaking to a media representative of the South American football confederation, Messi said, “I love football, I love playing it and I enjoy it, the only thing I’ve done all my life is play football, and I’m sure that whatever I do after will be related to it, although I don’t know what. I don’t think I’ll play much more.”
When asked about what the future possibly holds for him and his family and where he would like to finish, he added, “I don’t know, so many things happen… It was a dream that I always had as a child, of being able to play Argentine football, that I would go to the pitch and I wanted to be there. But today it depends on many things, I have my family. I just had a very big change in my life that was difficult. Now I have gotten over it and we feel spectacular.”
Having made his World Cup debut with Argentina as a teenager in Germany in 2006, Messi has been a key component of the squads in 2010, 2014, and 2018 as well. The 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted in Brazil represented his best chance of winning the trophy as La Albiceleste had made it to the final but fell short in the extra time against Germany.