Lionel Messi says he will continue his career in Argentina after winning the World Cup | Football news

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    Argentina star Lionel Messi vowed on Sunday to keep playing for his country despite finally realizing his lifelong ambition to win the World Cup. “I want to see a few more matches as world champion,” 35-year-old Messi told Argentine television after France’s epic victory over France in the World Cup final in Doha. But Messi admitted his career was about to end after the Argentina captain won the only major international trophy missing from his collection.

    The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored two goals in the stunning and chaotic final that ended 3-3 after 120 tense minutes, before the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored his penalty in the shoot-out that Argentina won 4. 2.

    “Of course I want to end my career with this, I can’t ask for more,” said Messi.

    “My career is almost over, because these are my last years.”

    And after so many disappointments on the biggest stage in football, including losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany in Brazil, Messi said he always felt his time would come.

    “It’s crazy that it happened when it happened, but it’s great,” he said.

    “It’s amazing it could end like this. I said before that God would grant me this and I don’t know why but I felt it would be this time.”

    Messi turned his attention to the game itself, saying it was hard to explain after Argentina let a two-goal lead slip for the second time late in the game, following their quarter-final victory over the Netherlands a week earlier.

    Argentina led 2-0 at half-time and went up 3-2 in extra time, but a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappé, with two late goals in normal time and another in extra time, pressed Argentina back and brought the game to penalty kicks. .

    “It was a very strange game, the same as the other game against the Netherlands, and when we went into extra time it happened again,” said Messi.

    But, he added, the World Cup trophy “is beautiful.”

    Messi hugged his family and teammates after the game, while coach Lionel Scaloni, winger Angel Di Maria, who scored Argentina’s second goal, and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez couldn’t hold back their tears after the final whistle.

    Messi has played 172 times for Argentina and scored 98 goals since his debut in 2005.

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