Lionel Messi says he may reconsider his football future later this year, but it’s like many things will change’ after the World Cup in Qatar this winter.
Argentina won Venezuela 3-0 in the final round of South American World Cup qualification on Friday, triggering Messi’s comments.
‘I don’t know what I will do after the World Cup. I am thinking about what is coming,’ Messi said. ‘After Qatar I will have to reassess many things.’
He went on to explain that his doubts had nothing to do with his earlier disappointments while playing for Argentina. Last year, he won his first trophy with the team, the Copa America, in a final against Brazil.
‘It has been a while that I am happy here, since before winning the Copa. I am thankful for all this they make me feel every time I come to Argentina,’ Messi said.
Asked about him continuing with the national team after Qatar, Messi, who turns 35 in June, said: ‘I don’t know, the truth is I don’t know. I think about what is coming, which is close, Ecuador (on Tuesday). The preparation matches in June and September.’
‘Let’s hope these go the best way possible. But for sure after the World Cup many things will change.’
Messi has recently struggled at club level, failing to live up to expectations after joining PSG last year and being booed by his fans.
On international duty, though, he was in a better mood and appeared pleased after scoring the game’s third goal on Friday and earning rousing applause from the crowd at the La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires.
Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay have already secured the four direct slots for the region in Qatar later this year.
On Tuesday, Peru, Colombia, and Chile will compete for fifth place, which will qualify them for an international playoff with an Asian team.
After a low cross by Rodrigo de Paul, Argentina took the lead in the 35th minute when Nico Gonzalez scored from close range.
After an assist from De Paul, Angel di Maria, another star under criticism in France, scored the second goal in the 79th minute, lobbing the Venezuelan goalie.
After Barcelona’s Champions League round-of-16 loss to Real Madrid, both Messi and Brazil’s Neymar have experienced criticism in France.