Lionel Messi: Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner responds to retirement question

Lionel Messi: Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner responds to retirement question

Festus Chuma 13:13 - 13.06.2024

Fans rejoice as Lionel Messi continues to excel at Inter Miami leading the team with stellar performances amid retirement speculations.

Eight-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has made it clear he is not thinking about hanging up his boots anytime soon, despite nearing the end of a storied career.

The 36-year-old Argentine forward, who transitioned to Inter Miami last summer after a tenure at Paris St-Germain, continues to leave an indelible mark on the field.

Messi's journey from Barcelona to Paris and finally to Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS) has been nothing short of spectacular.

At Barcelona, his trophy haul included 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League victories, cementing his legacy as one of the game's all-time greats.

His time at PSG added to his illustrious career before he took a step that few European stars dare to take—moving to MLS.

"As of today, I think it's going to be my last club," Messi revealed in an interview with ESPN.

The forward's statement not only commits him to his current club but also expresses his ongoing passion for the sport.

"I'm not ready to leave football either," he added, dispelling any rumors of an imminent retirement.

In his current season with Inter Miami, Messi has demonstrated that his skills remain sharp, contributing 12 goals and 13 assists in just 12 matches, leading the team to the top of the MLS standings.

His stellar performance is a significant boost for the club, especially with the upcoming Copa America, where Argentina aims to defend their title.

Hosted in the United States, this presents a unique advantage for Messi, now familiar with the local conditions.

Off the pitch, Messi's transition to life in the U.S. has been smooth, aided by Argentina's triumph in the 2022 World Cup.

"It was a difficult step to leave Europe to come here," Messi admitted.

However, winning the World Cup has helped him view his decision through a different lens.

"I love playing football. I enjoy the training, every day of the matches. [I am] a little afraid that everything will end. That's why I enjoy everything much more, because I'm aware that there's less and less to go and I have a good time at the club. I enjoy the little details that I know I'm going to miss when I don't play anymore."

While Messi continues to inspire millions around the globe, he remains grounded and acknowledges the inevitable reality of retirement.

Yet, with 18 months left on his contract and an option for an additional year, the decision on whether to continue at Miami beyond 2025 remains open.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.