Messi welcome in 2026 World Cup says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni

Lionel Messi-Argentina
Lionel Messi-Argentina

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has insisted that Lionel Messi “should have a place at the next World Cup” after the Argentina captain revealed he would not retire from the national team.

Messi and Scaloni led Argentina to their third World Cup in history on Sunday, thanks to a penalty shootout win over France.

The PSG forward played a key role in the game, scoring twice before converting his spot-kick during the penalty shootout. He also picked up the Golden Ball award–the award for the best player in the tournament.

After the game, Argentina boss Scaloni said he is hopeful that Messi will be back for the 2026 World Cup while also stating that the Argentina No.10 shirt “will always be his”.

“Messi should have a place in the next World Cup. If he wants to continue playing, the ‘10’ will always be his,” Scaloni said.

Scaloni also praised his side for their performance in Qatar despite losing their first game.

“I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game,” he said.

“Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything. I am proud of the work they did. It is an exciting group. With the blows we received today, with the draws, this makes you emotional. I want to tell people to enjoy it. It’s a historic moment for our country.”

At 35, Messi still has some years at the top level and should still be in good shape when Argentina look to defend their Copa America crown in 2026.