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The Inter Miami star couldn’t stop smiling while training with his Argentina teammates before their matches against Uruguay and Brazil

Despite the fact that the now 36-year-old legend may or may not participate in the upcoming global Cup in the summer of 2026, Lionel Messi is still a source of motivation for Argentina as the team embarks on its path to defend its global championship crown. not clear.

Messi led Argentina to victory at the 2018 World Cup, which they went on to win for the third time in the competition’s history. He also guided Argentina to victory in the South American qualifying group for the 2026 World Cup.

The 36-year-old superstar is presently tied for first place with Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas de la Cruz for most goals scored in the qualifying round with three goals each. He has been instrumental in helping Argentina become the only side that is still winning after the first four matches.

After four matches, Argentina has accumulated 12 points, giving them the lead in the 10-team qualifying group for South America. Uruguay, Brazil, and Venezuela are tied for first place with 7 points each. Colombia leads the pack with 6 points, followed by Ecuador, Paraguay, and Chile with 4 each. The difference between Peru and Bolivia is that Peru has one point.

The World Cup will be held for the first time in the United States, Mexico, and Canada in 2026, and there will be a total of 48 competing teams. This means that the top six teams from South America will earn direct participation. The club that is now placed seventh will compete for a position in the intercontinental play-offs.

The subject of whether or not the eight-time winner of the Ballon d’Or will continue with the national team to defend the championship is continually brought up as Argentina raises its ambitions of qualifying for the World Cup in 2026. Left back Nicolas Tagliafico provided the following “roadmap” in the newspaper La Nacion:

“If we hadn’t won the World Cup in Qatar, he most certainly wouldn’t be here. Therefore, having the proper level of motivation is the most critical thing right now. If we continue to win, I believe he will be able to prolong it a little bit farther. He still intends to take pleasure in the triumph. I have no doubt that if we win Copa America 2024, that will serve as a source of inspiration for Leo to keep going.

Messi’s season with Inter Miami came to an end on October 21, and it is anticipated that he will play his final two matches of the calendar year when Argentina meets Uruguay on November 16 in Buenos Aires, and then he will play another match away. on the 21st of November, they played Brazil in the Maracana.

Before embarking on the journey to defend their Copa America title in the United States from June 20 through July 14, the Argentina national team will only play two friendly matches in the FIFA Days calendar in March during the new year. The exact nature of these matches is still to be established.