Lionel Messi’s Unanticipated Move: Returning to Argentina’s World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Following a Year-Long Hiatus – Discover the Motivations Behind His Decision.

Advertisement

Messi Leads Argentina in the Kick-off of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers

image

Contrary to previous speculations about taking a break, Lionel Messi will continue to lead the reigning world champions, Argentina, in their opening matches of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Bolivia. These will be the first international matches for the 36-year-old captain since joining MLS’s Inter Miami.

image

In late June, there were reports that Messi had informed Argentina’s national team coach, Lionel Scaloni, of his desire to take a one-year hiatus from international duty, citing the need to spend time with his family as they adjust to their new life in the United States. However, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has been in excellent spirits following a stellar start in American soccer, scoring 11 goals in his first 10 matches and helping Inter Miami secure their first-ever Leagues Cup title. Additionally, Messi and his family have been enjoying their time in the U.S., which is a key factor motivating him to continue representing the national team.

image

Messi’s Recent Success: The 36-year-old superstar previously led Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where La Albiceleste clinched the title by defeating France in a penalty shootout. Messi contributed significantly with 7 goals and 3 assists in 7 tournament matches, securing Argentina’s first World Cup win since 1986 and elevating himself to legendary status alongside the late Diego Maradona in Argentine football history.

image

Despite his advancing age, Messi has made more international appearances in the last two years than ever before – 16 matches in 2021 and 14 in 2022. Notably, his 18 goals in the past year surpassed his previous record of 12 goals in 2012, during his peak years. After the World Cup, Messi also made three international appearances in friendly matches in 2023, scoring 5 goals.

Advertisement
Advertisement
image

Argentina’s Squad: Coach Lionel Scaloni’s 32-man squad includes other seasoned star players such as Angel Di Maria, who recently returned to Benfica, and defender Nicolas Otamendi. They will serve as leaders in a team that also features young talents receiving their first call-ups, including Alan Velasco (FC Dallas), Bruno Zapelli and Lucas Esquivel (Paranaense), and Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina). On the flip side, forward Paulo Dybala of AS Roma and goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli of Ajax Amsterdam are unavailable due to injuries.

image

The reigning world champions will host Ecuador in Buenos Aires on September 7th, followed by an away match against Bolivia just five days later.

image

Argentina’s Starting Lineup for the Qualifiers:

image

Goalkeepers: Juan Musso (Atalanta), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Walter Benitez (PSV Eindhoven), Franco Armani (River Plate).

image

Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Marcos Senesi (Bournemouth), Lisandro Martinez (Man.United), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lucas Esquivel (Athletico Paranaense).

image

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (AS Roma), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Exequiel Palacios (Leverkusen), and Bruno Zapelli (Athletico Paranaense).

image

Forwards: Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Julian Alvarez (Man.City), Alejandro Garnacho (Man.United), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Alan Velasco (FC Dallas), and Thiago Almada (Atlanta United).

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Related Posts

Captivating Wrist Tattoo Inspirations for Timeless Feminine

Inspiring Wrist Tattoo Ideas for a Feminine Look That Will Never Become Outdated Wrist tattооs are an excellent chоice fоr fashiоnable wоmen whо want tо elevate their appearance and give themselves a mоre unique lооk. The wrist, despite its diminutive …

Toр 10 most skilful рlayers of all time according to AI – with Neymar coming sixth

Toр 10 most skilful рlayers of all time according to AI – with Neymar coming sixth Toр 10 most skilful рlayers of all time according to AI – with Neymar coming sixth Football fans love mavericks and entertainers and now artificial intelligence has been …

A Fan’s UltimAte Tribute: Bequeathing Entire Fortune To Neymar as a Token Of admiration and Devotion

Ɑ Fɑn’s ᴜltιmɑte Tɾιbᴜte: Beqᴜeɑthιng Entιɾe Foɾtᴜne To Neymɑɾ Ɑs Ɑ Token Of Ɑdmιɾɑtιon Ɑnd Devotιon Ɑ Fɑn’s ᴜltιmɑte Tɾιbᴜte: Beqᴜeɑthιng Entιɾe Foɾtᴜne To Neymɑɾ Ɑs Ɑ Token Of Ɑdmιɾɑtιon Ɑnd Devotιon On Metroрoleѕ, а 30-yeаr-old fаn сonfіrmed thаt he …

Delving into Neymar’s Remarkable Watch Collection: Showcasing a Rare £1.5m Hand-Painted Richard Mille Timepiece

Exploгing Neymaг’s Incгedible Watch Collection: Featuгing a Raгe £1.5m Hand-Painted Richaгd Mille Timepiece Exploгing Neymaг’s Incгedible Watch Collection: Featuгing a Raгe £1.5m Hand-Painted Richaгd Mille Timepiece Inѕidҽ Nҽymar’ѕ amazing watcҺ collҽction, …

Neymar Jr. Turns Fashion into Fun: These Pictures Speak Volumes

Neymaг Jг Tuгnѕ FaѕҺion into Fun: TҺeѕe Pictuгeѕ Speak Volumeѕ Neymaг Jг Tuгnѕ FaѕҺion into Fun: TҺeѕe Pictuгeѕ Speak Volumeѕ Neymaг Jг Makeѕ FaѕҺion Fun and TҺeѕe Pictuгeѕ Aгe Pгoof   Sіr Alex Ferguѕon waѕ ѕpotted to meet wіtҺ PSG cҺіef aѕ Al-KҺelaіfі …

Could Brazil Truly Miss Out on the 2026 World Cup? Exploring the Challenges Faced by the Selecao as Neymar and Vinicius Jr. Injuries Mount Ahead of a Critical Showdown with Old Rivals Argentina

Could Brazіl really mіss out on the 2026 World Cuр?! Where іt’s all gone wrong for the Selecao as Neymar and Vіnіcіus Jr іnjurіes ріle on the рressure ahead of huge clash wіth old foes Argentіna Could Brazіl really mіss out on the 2026 World Cuр?! Where …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *