“The years are not going to forgive him” – Argentine World Cup winning coach on Lionel Messi playing in 2026 edition


Former Argentina head coach Cesar Luis Menotti recently shared his views on whether Lionel Messi would be able to play in the next edition of the World Cup. Menotti, who masterminded his nation’s first World Cup victory back in 1978, believes that everything will depend on how the Barcelona legend manages his current condition.

After experiencing a monumental heartbreak in 2014, Lionel Messi was finally able to achieve his lifelong dream of lifting the World Cup trophy in 2022. Doing so at the ripe old age of 35, La Pulga made many fans wonder whether it would be his last dance with the Albiceleste on the global stage.

Even though the next installment of the biggest footballing competition is two years away, speculations about Messi’s participation have already begun. The Argentine icon is currently plying his trade at MLS side Inter Miami, in a league that is not primarily known for its competitiveness.

Commenting on the situation on the Los Mas Grandes radio show, 85-year-old Menotti stated (via Diario AS),

“I suppose Messi will make it to the next World Cup. The years are not going to forgive him either and he is fine now but it all depends on how he continues to maintain his condition, he looks good but there is still a long way to go.”

On a closer note, Lionel Messi is expected to feature in Argentina’s attempt to defend their Copa America title, with the continental competition set to commence in June this year.

Former PSG star urges fans to boo Lionel Messi if he decides to compete in the 2024 Olympics

Despite having spent two years at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), it appears that Lionel Messi has failed to garner much of a fanbase in France. In a recent development, ex-PSG mainstay Jerome Rothen urged French fans to do their best to discourage Messi if he chooses to represent Argentina in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Rothen claimed that the Argentine legend had never shown any respect to his nation, which should generate a reaction from Les Bleus’ fans. On an episode of his talk show, Rothen s’enflamme, the 41-year-old former France international further dismissed Lionel Messi’s apparent claims of not receiving the welcome he deserved (via Daily Mail).

Despite being 36, the former Barcelona talisman is eligible to represent Argentina’s U23 squad at the Olympics as an older player. As per several reports, Messi has already been invited to compete in the tournament by close friend and ex-teammate Javier Mascherano, who is in charge of the under-23 side.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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