Last game of the World Cup for Messi. That is beyond doubt at this point. His manager, Lionel Scaloni, tried to buy him another four years by hinting that he might still be active in 2026, but Messi was unwilling to accept it.
Messi leaves on a positive note. His best and most significant World Cup to date. Even at 35, he has been among their best players. He serves as the showpiece for it. Even if Argentina doesn’t match France in the final, Messi’s contribution to this World Cup will not be diminished.
The summit, however, is not a stop. His place in history, his legacy, and how he is seen over time are different. The two players competing for the top spot, Pelé and Maradona, have won World Cups. Maradona’s success is not an illusion. He won the World Cup, so Messi must follow in his footsteps.