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Lionel Messi not ready to call time on his international career after World Cup win

Lionel Messi not ready to call time on his international career after World Cup win

Messi scored two goals in Argentina’s title win over France.

After winning the World Cup, Argentina legend Lionel Messi is not ready to call time on his glorious international career just yet.

The 35-year-old netted a brace for Argentina and his second goal was crucial. Argentina and France played out a 3-3 extra-time draw. The match was decided through a penalty shootout and Argentina’s goalkeeper assured the third title for the nation.

Messi had indicated during the build-up to the final that the game would be his last on the world stage, but speaking afterwards he told Argentinian TV station TyC Sports: “Obviously I wanted to cap my career with this and I can’t ask for anything more.

“What will happen after this? I’ve managed to win the Copa America and the World Cup almost at the end…

“I love football, it’s what I do. I enjoy being in the national team and want to continue by experiencing a few more games as a world champion.”

Whether or not “a few more games” will constitute a title defence in four years’ time remains to be seen, but head coach Lionel Scaloni is hoping so.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Scaloni said: “First of all, we need to save him a spot for the next World Cup in 2026. If he wants to keep playing, he’ll be with us.”

Scaloni saw his side pegged back twice, firstly as a result of Kylian Mbappe’s quick-fire double after Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s strike had put them in control, and then courtesy of Mbappe’s third – just the second hat-trick in the final – following another Messi goal, before they eventually prevailed 4-2 on penalties.

He said: “The match was completely insane. It wasn’t in my plans. I didn’t envisage to be World Cup winners, but now we are and the most important thing is how we achieved this.”

Scaloni’s emotions were in stark contrast to those of the opposite number Didier Deschamps.

Deschamps, who guided his side to glory in Russia in 2018, said: “Those first 70 minutes or so, we were playing a very aggressive and dynamic opponent and we just weren’t up to the same level for a number of reasons.

“But, nevertheless, we managed to come back from the dead and we made a magnificent comeback from what was a very difficult situation.

“I really must congratulate Argentina because they showed great quality, great aggression, experience and some very cunning football out there.”

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