D-Day. This Tuesday, Argentina makes its World Cup debut in Qatar. And a player will be particularly expected: Lionel Messi. At 35, the Albiceleste star carries the hopes of an entire people. What he is perfectly aware of, as he explained yesterday at a press conference. ““I feel very good physically. I think I’m in for a great time, both personally and physically. I have no problems. I know there have been rumors about my absence, but it was a precaution. Nothing more. It’s not the best moment of my career, but I’m happy. I always want to do my best”.
Then he added: “I want to enjoy this moment. Today, I pay a little more attention to everything, pleasure is above all else. It will probably be my last World Cup, the last chance to achieve what we all want.. Focused on its World Cup, La Pulga wants to continue to write its history, it which could not be there in 2026 during the tournament organized in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2030, there is also little chance of seeing the Argentinian at work. But he could still have a major role to play eight years from now.
Messi at the center of a battle
In effect, Athleticism reveals that the Paris Saint-Germain player is at the heart of an astonishing showdown between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. This does not concern this Tuesday’s meeting, but rather the battle for the attribution of the 2030 World Cup. The two nations are not yet canceled while the opening of candidatures took place last June and the names of the host countries (joint applications will be made since there will be 48 nations at the World Cup, editor’s note) will be known at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024.
Corn Athleticism explains that Argentina, which intends to join forces with Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, wishes to apply. A long-standing project and supported by Lionel Messi from 2017. Then at Barça, Luis Suarez, who wore a jersey with the number 20, and the Pulga, who had the number 30, had joined forces to promote this possible candidacy. Nothing too surprising so far. Except that Messi has now become ambassador of Saudi Arabia since last May. The Argentinian has signed a lucrative contract to promote tourism rather than a candidacy in 2030.
Its agreement with Saudi Arabia is problematic
But the British publication explains that by “recruiting” Lionel Messi, Saudi Arabia had in mind the World Cup organized in eight years. All this puts the player in a delicate position. “Messi, 2030, and a very uncomfortable agreement with Saudi Arabia”title by the way Athleticism. The media, which contacted Messi’s entourage, explains that his relatives refused to comment on his possible position price for the 2030 World Cup and his financial agreement with Saudi Arabia. A very lucrative partnership for the Parisian, who is also talking.
Khalid Al-Jabri, whose brother and sister are still imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, told Athleticism : “I don’t mind players like Messi playing in Saudi Arabia as part of a team, because I don’t think Saudi fans should be deprived of that. What troubles me is Messi, the individual who becomes a Saudi promotional tool. He sold himself to the devil.” Far from all these controversies, La Pulga will focus on the field and nothing but the field. It will then be time to choose sides.