DOHA ( Associated Press) — On the eve of his fifth and perhaps last World Cup, Lionel Messi is no longer just thinking about winning.
“It catches me in a more mature moment. I enjoy every moment that I have to live”, the Argentina captain expressed at a press conference on Monday before their World Cup Group C debut with Saudi Arabia. did.
“I hadn’t thought about it before … It used to happen so often, I didn’t have time to enjoy it enough, but wanted to keep winning, to think about the next game,” reflected Starr. did. “Sometimes the important things I’ve had to experience in my career go unnoticed and now I’m aware of that and I try to enjoy it.”
Messi, 35, packed the main conference room at the World Cup press center for his first contact with reporters after arriving in Qatar. Dressed in official white sportswear, the national team’s all-time goalscorer (91) appeared with the same relaxed face he had in 2021 after winning his first title with the Argentina senior team after losing four finals – the 2014 World Cup and the US . Cups of 2007, 2015 and 2016.
Asked if the Albiceleste arrived at their debut better than at the last World Cup, the Paris Saint-Germain striker said “I don’t know if we arrived better, but we arrived winning and that’s very little.” It happens. It makes us work differently.”
He didn’t always have a smile on his face while representing his country in the World Cup.
Considered one of the greatest footballers in history, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has rarely shone as brightly on the big stage as in other competitions. He scored a total of six goals, none in World Cup-deciding instances.
Argentina, champions in 1978 and 1986, are emerging as one of the great favorites to win in Qatar and that adds extra pressure to their debut against the Saudis, which could play a trick on the 22 players in the Argentina squad that previously time on the top stage.
Messi, who became the Argentine footballer with the most World Cup appearances, admitted that at this time it is difficult to convince him that he has to enjoy the moment, the same happened to me.
“The World Cup is special and we don’t know whether it will be repeated or not. I tell them to live this experience to the fullest and enjoy the people, the game as much as they can and that we try to play as we have been doing so far”, he concluded.