Lionel Messi confirms retirement plans ahead of Copa America with Argentina

Will Ford
Messi Inter Miami
Lionel Messi moved to Inter Miami in the summer of 2023.

Lionel Messi has confirmed his retirement plans as he prepares to lead Argentina at Copa America.

Messi played his first international game in six months last week, helping Argentina to a 1-0 over Ecuador in a warm up for their Copa America opener against Canada on Friday.

The 36-year-old – who won the World Cup as Argentina captain in Qatar in 2022 – moved to Inter Miami in the summer of 2023, and now believes the MLS side will be his last club.

‘My last club’

It was previously thought that Messi would return to his homeland to end his career, likely with with Newell’s Old Boys, the club where he began his training as a child in his native city of Rosario.

“I think Inter Miami is going to be my last club. Today I think it is going to be my last club,” the Argentina captain said in an interview with ESPN.

“It was a difficult step to leave Europe to come here,” he said. “Having become a world champion helped a lot, and also to see things differently. But I don’t think about it. I try to enjoy. That’s why I enjoy everything much more, because I am aware that there is less and less to go and I have a good time.”

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‘I enjoy the little details’

“I have a good time at the club, I am lucky enough to have teammates and friends (Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, all former Barcelona players) by my side,” he said. “I had a good time in the national team, where I have teammates and friends too.”

“I enjoy the little details that I know that when I don’t play anymore, I’m going to miss,” he added. “My whole life I did this. I love playing ball and I enjoy training, day-to-day life and match days. And yes, there is always the fear that everything will end.”

Messi’s current Inter Miami deal expires in December 2025.