'I'm not retiring': Argentina's hero Messi wants to keep playing as World Cup 2022 champion; fans jubilant
Following Argentina's victory over France to clinch the Qatar World Cup 2022, Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi confirmed his intentions to continue playing for the national team, sparking massive excitement among fans.
Lionel Messi has finally completed football.
In the Qatar World Cup 2022 final versus France, Argentina prevailed on penalties (4-2) following a dramatic 3-3 tie that featured a brace from Lionel Messi and a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe.
Speaking following the incredible victory, Golden Ball winner Messi confirmed that he would continue playing as a 'champion' for Argentina's national team. The 35-year-old legend, who had earlier stated that the Qatar World Cup could be his last appearance on football's grandest stage, appears all set to defend Argentina's title at the 2024 Copa America and perhaps feature at World Cup 2026.
"No, I'm not retiring from the national team. I want to keep playing as a World Cup champion," Messi said after an epic final at Doha's Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
Many assumed that the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star would end his illustrious career after a victory at the showpiece tournament, and much was made of his future plans.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or, however, said that it was definitely the final trophy he wished to capture before retiring. "I had this big dream for a long time. I wanted to close my career with the World Cup. I cannot ask for more than this," Messi stated.
"It's simply unbelievable. I knew god was going to give me the cup. I was sure — it is a big joy for us," the 35-year-old Argentinian legend added.
News of Messi not retiring after Argentina's World Cup 2022 victory has sent fans of the former Barcelona legend into a tizzy. "Massive news, the God of football will continue playing!" said one fan on Twitter, while another added, "Messi not retiring. This day keeps on spreading more joy."
Here's a look at how Messi supporters reacted: