UncategorizedMessi back as 2026 World Cup qualifiers kick off by admin September 8, 2023 written by admin September 8, 2023 Bookmark 15 MessiAfter a dazzling start to his career in Major League Soccer, Lionel Messi returns to international duty with Argentina this week as South America’s long qualifying road to the 2026 World Cup kicks off on Thursday.Nine months ago, Messi crowned his glittering career by leading Argentina to a World Cup crown in Qatar cementing his status as the greatest player of his generation.Since that magical night in Doha, the diminutive 36-year-old superstar’s life has gone through a period of upheaval.Inter coach, Gerard “Tata” Martino, the former Argentina and Barcelona player, says Messi has been “liberated” by finally leading Argentina to the World Cup last year after several agonising major championship near-misses.But the question hanging in the air as South America’s qualifying campaign gets under way this week, is whether Messi will be around when Argentina aim to defend their title in 2026, when the tournament is co-hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico.Messi appeared to pour cold water on that prospect in comments made in June, saying he did not expect to play in the 2026 finals.However, he later admitted in an interview in July he had no clear idea of when he plans to call time on his international career.While the questions may continue to swirl around Messi’s future in future, there is less uncertainty about Argentina’s prospects for qualification for the World Cup.The expanded 48-team finals in 2026 means that six of the 10 teams competing in South American qualifying, which will be completed in September 2025, will qualify automatically for the finals. The seventh place team will advance to a playoff.Given Argentina’s strength, it would take an upset of mammoth proportions for them to fail to qualify automatically for 2026.Messi and Argentina’s qualifying journey gets under way with a home fixture against Ecuador at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on Thursday, before the team face Bolivia in La Paz next Tuesday. –supersport.comRead NextSeptember 8, 2023Messi rivalry changed football history – RonaldoSeptember 8, 2023Potter turns down Lyon jobSeptember 8, 2023John Terry set for first managerial roleSeptember 8, 2023Paris 2024 Africa boxing qualifiers to start tomorrowSeptember 8, 2023Messi, Haaland lead 2023 Ballon d’Or nomineesSeptember 8, 2023No Russian flag at Paris 2024 – MacronSeptember 7, 2023FA eyes Guardiola as Southgate replacementSeptember 7, 2023Liverpool offered world-record bid for SalahAugust 29, 2023Mancini named as Saudi Arabia’s national team coachAugust 29, 2023Neuer returns to training with Bayern Munich 0 comment 0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail admin Follow Author previous post Migration of health workers: Govt to halt exodus – Health Minister next post Estate developer granted GH¢500,000 bail for unlawful damage You may also like Bookmark This Couple’s Moment During Their Yoruba Trad Will... October 3, 2023 Bookmark Want To Be a Dazzling Bride? This Traditional... October 3, 2023 Bookmark Of Love, Colours & Beauty! It’s Time To... October 3, 2023 Bookmark Diezani appears in London court over bribery charges October 3, 2023 Bookmark Troops kill two suspected IPOP members – Official October 3, 2023 Bookmark Gabon’s predators on the pitch: Inside a paedophile... October 3, 2023 Bookmark How we plan to raise $5 billion yearly... October 3, 2023 Bookmark Tribunal sacks Gov Sule of Nasarawa, declares PDP... October 3, 2023 Bookmark ‘Multiple taxations widening housing gap’ October 2, 2023 Bookmark Bangladesh dengue deaths top 1,000 in worst outbreak... October 2, 2023Leave a Comment Cancel ReplySave my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.