Lionel Messi: 'Russia 2018 could be my last World Cup'

By @saihoops on
Lionel Messi, 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2018 Russia, World Cup
Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - March 18, 2018 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal Reuters / Albert Gea

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer players of his generation, has acknowledged that the forthcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia could be his last chance to taste success at the international stage. The 30-year-old Messi has suggested that he won't get another chance if Argentina fails to win in Russia this summer. 

The Barcelona star has been on the losing end during each of his last three finals - two Copa Americas and the 2014 FIFA World Cup -- in a three-year span. Messi has never won a trophy with the senior Argentinian team. In 2014, Messi carried a strong Argentinian team to the final against Germany but couldn't get the job done. Argentina have won the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, in 1978 and 1986. 

"It's just the feeling that this group of players has. It seems that having reached three straight finals didn't mean anything. Obviously, we depend on results and unfortunately, we reached three finals and we didn't win them. A lot was said about us. The criticisms hurt back then. But the demand is going to be there for this group to get it done. We think that if we don't do it, we are going to get a lot more [criticism] and we are not going to have another possibility," an emotional Messi told La Cornisa TV.

Lionel Messi has dreams of winning FIFA World Cup

Last October, Messi scored a hat-trick at Ecuador to seal his country's berth in Russia 2018. Messi revealed he has been dreaming of World Cup glory since that day. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has yet to forget the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany at Rio de Janeiro.

"I've cried many times for lost finals. I cried for not being able to fulfill the dream of our nation. My desire is the same as every Argentine, which is to lift the World Cup. I dream of being in that final, lifting the cup," Messi said. "It's a dream I've always had. Every time a World Cup comes along, the feeling becomes stronger. I hope it's a great World Cup for us and that we are able to experience something similar to that of 2014, which was an unforgettable experience for the country, but this time lifting the cup," Messi added.

In the meantime, Lionel Messi is focussed on the task of leading Barcelona to another UEFA Champions League crown. The Spanish powerhouse will face A.S. Roma in the first leg of the quarter-final on April 4. The second will be staged at Stadio Olimpico on April 10. The 2018 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018. Germany, the reigning champions, are the odds-on favourites to repeat.