Lionel Messi believes he will not win another Ballon d’Or after collecting his eighth this week, and has addressed the possibility of retirement.
Messi collected his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday night. But the 36-year-old, who left European club football to join Inter Miami upon the expiration of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, isn’t expecting to make it nine.
WHAT THEY SAID
“[I] stopped thinking about the Ballon d’Or,” Messi told L’Equipe. “I think it’s my last Ballon d’Or. And I’m happy to have achieved everything I’ve achieved and to be the only player with eight Ballons d’Or. And that’s all.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Before Messi, the most Ballon d’Or awards that any single player had won was three – a record shared by John Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
By the time of the next World Cup in 2026, Messi will be 39 – if he is still playing. It has been suggested that the Inter Miami forward could hang up his boots after landing what he feels will be his final Golden Ball. However, Messi insists he has not yet started to think about retiring from the game he loves. “I want to play for a very long time,” he added to L’Equipe. “We’ll have to see how I feel physically. I can’t give a date. Things change from one day to the next. But I hope it will last a very long time. for a long time, because that’s what I love doing.”
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WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI?
2024 will be the superstar’s first full season with Inter Miami, where he has a contract until December 2025. It has already been rumoured that he could leave the United States at that point in order to finish his career with boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in his home city of Rosario.
This article is courtesy of GOAL