Lionel Messi says he does not know if this will be his last World Cup – but expects to have an answer by the end of the tournament.
The Argentina star turns 31 during this summer’s global showpiece in Russia, which will be his fourth World Cup finals.
Whether the Barcelona playmaker will feature again at Qatar 2022 remains to be seen, but Messi admits his decision is likely to depend on what happens in the next few weeks.
In his column in La Nacion newspaper, Messi said: “They ask me if this will be my last World Cup and I don’t know.
“I’m not thinking about that now. It will surely depend on how this month goes, on how we finish in the tournament.”
Messi has won virtually every available individual and club honour during his career – including five Ballons d’Or as the best player on the planet – but World Cup success with Argentina has proved elusive.
The Albiceleste were knocked out at the quarter-final stage in both 2006 and 2010 before suffering an agonising extra-time defeat to Germany in the final four years ago.
Messi said: “I’ve already said I would swap the Ballons d’Or for a title with the national team.
“I’m not saying the Ballons aren’t valuable, no, but the team prizes always come ahead of individual ones.
“I’ve won a lot with Barcelona and my motivation has always been the same: To continue winning. I will go after that in Russia.
“To win a World Cup is the maximum for any player. I’m very motivated to win the World Cup.”
Argentina begin their World Cup campaign against Iceland on Saturday.