Lionel Messi has confirmed that he is currently playing in the last World Cup of his career, and his last match on this stage will take place on Sunday when Argentina face either France or Morocco in the final in Qatar.

Following Argentina's 3-0 victory over Croatia in the first semi-final on Tuesday, Messi spoke to the press for a brief five minutes. Despite the short conversation, he dropped a major bombshell that many of his fans did not want to hear.

"I am proud to be able to finish my World Cup journey playing this final. What I'm experiencing is exciting. Surely Sunday will be my last game in a World Cup," he said, as quoted by Marca.

He pointed out that the next tournament will be a long time from now, and now at 35 years old, he is not optimistic about participating when the event goes to Canada, USA and Mexico in 2026. "It will be many years before the next one and I don't think I'll be able to make it. So I hope I can finish in the best way," he continued.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has won nearly everything on the club level, but only just recently experienced success with Argentina. He previously retired from international duty out of frustration, but returned strong by winning the Copa America in 2021. Now, he is on the cusp of capping his international career in the best way possible.

He told reporters that he is enjoying the journey so far, and he feels strong going into the final. "I'm enjoying it all very much. I feel good. I feel strong to face every game," he said before admitting that he and his teammates had to pull a lot of strength in order to defeat Croatia especially after a gruelling match against The Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

"The last game we played was with an extension that was not easy at all. We were tired, but the group got strength from where it doesn't have to give an extra plus," he said.

Fans from around the world knew that the time was drawing near, but many are still coming to terms with the prospect of not having Lionel Messi in the Argentina squad in the future. However, before the emotional farewell, there is still an important match on the horizon.

Defending champions France will be facing Morocco in the second semi-final on Wednesday, and the winner will be setting up a date with Argentina for the final match on Sunday.

Lionel Messi
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