FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi stokes retirement fears ahead of Qatar

Lionel Messi has fuelled speculation he is nearing the end of his career by claiming he is “not going to play much more”.

The Argentine, 35, is currently preparing to try and win the World Cup for the first time in his career.

The South Americans are one of the favourites heading into the tournament in Qatar.

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And Messi is in fine form so far this season, contributing 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 games for Paris Saint-Germain.

Yet despite his impressive performances, the seven-time Ballon d‘Or winner insists he is nearing the end of his career.

As reported by AS, he said: “I love playing it (football) and I enjoy it, the only thing I‘ve done all my life is play football and I’m sure it’s related, although I don’t know what. I don’t think I’m going to play much more.”

Messi already stated last month that the Qatar tournament will be his fifth and final World Cup.

He said: “This will be my last World Cup — for sure. The decision has been made.”

Messi has been heavily linked with a move to David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami at the end of the season when his PSG contract expires.

There has also been speculation about a return to Barcelona.

But at the moment his focus is solely on trying to win the World Cup with Argentina.

And Messi has highlighted the three teams he feels pose the biggest threat to his country in this year‘s competition.

“They are always the same,” he said. “There are some surprises but in general the big ones are the candidates.

“Brazil, France, England today are a little above the others, but in a World Cup anything can happen.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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