Messi dismisses retirement talk, commits to continuing his football journey

66

28th March 2024 – (Miami) Lionel Messi, the celebrated Argentine footballer, has dismissed any immediate thoughts of retirement, insisting that his decision will not hinge on his age but rather on his capacity to make a meaningful contribution to the game.

In a candid conversation with the Big Time podcast released Wednesday, the 36-year-old forward, currently with Inter Miami, addressed the speculation about his future. Messi made it clear he would only consider hanging up his boots when he feels his performance wanes or his passion for the sport diminishes.

The maestro of the pitch articulated a highly introspective approach to his career, expressing a deep self-awareness of his form and contribution. “I am very self-critical,” Messi admitted, highlighting his ability to recognise the ebbs and flows in the quality of his play.

His recent triumph at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he captained Argentina to glory and was decorated with the Golden Ball as the tournament’s standout player, has done nothing to quell his competitive fire. Despite acknowledging last July in an Argentine television interview that retirement wouldn’t be far off, given his age, the eight-time Ballon d’Or recipient now seems buoyed by the prospect of continuing his illustrious career.

With no definitive plans yet made for his post-playing days, Messi is firmly focused on savouring each match and each moment on the field. “I haven’t thought about it yet,” he stated, underscoring his commitment to living in the present and pushing aside any consideration of the future.

Since moving to Inter Miami in a high-profile transfer after a stint with Paris Saint-Germain, Messi has made his presence felt, netting 16 goals and providing seven assists across 19 appearances.