Argentina coach urges fans to enjoy Messi now and not worry about retirement
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says fans should enjoy star striker Lionel Messi while they still can because he will eventually retire.
Argentine Lionel Messi's cryptic comment after last week's game against Venezuela that he would "rethink a lot of things" when the Qatar World Cup 2022 was over has sent fans into a tizzy. Several fans are now speculating that the legendary striker is set to hang his boots after the showpiece event.
However, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has urged fans not to think about Messi's retirement because that will eventually happen and instead enjoy the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner for now.
Asked at a press conference about Messi's latest comment on Sunday, Scaloni admitted that the day would eventually come when the 34-year-old great will decide to retire.
"After playing in a World Cup, everyone makes assessments. I'm not in the heads of the players to know what they're thinking," Scaloni said.
"In any case, you have to enjoy it. You don't have to think about the future, enjoy their spectacular present. It's the rule of life, and at some point, it will happen. It's useless to think about what will happen after the World Cup," the Argentina coach added.
Messi led a lap of honour after Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, a match that could be his last international appearance on Argentine soil.
Nevertheless, Scaloni, who has led his side to a 30-game unbeaten streak, would not confirm Messi's presence in the team to play Ecuador on Tuesday.
Both teams have already qualified for the finals, and the coach promised to give some fringe players a run-out.
"We think this is the right time to make some modifications," he said.
Argentina had not won an international title in 28 years until Scaloni took them to Copa America last year, and they will be aiming for a third World Cup title in Qatar.