5 Reasons Lionel Messi Should Retire From Argentina After World Cup 2018

The time might be right for Messi to move on.

Messi Vs Nigeria1
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2018 will not be the year that we finally see Lionel Messi lift the World Cup, but in truth, ever since Argentina lost the 2014 final, the prospect of the Barcelona star getting his hands on football's biggest prize was looking pretty unlikely.

Messi's a wonderful player, and while there are some who argue he needed to win the World Cup to truly go down as the greatest of all time, he's still done more than enough throughout his career to merit a place among the pantheon of historic footballing legends.

Now, at the age of 31, Messi has got to be thinking about calling it quits from the international scene. He did briefly retire a couple of years ago, only to eventually change his mind. From 2014-16, he made it to three finals with Argentina, losing all three of them. Had those games gone differently, Messi could have added a World Cup and two Copa América titles to his bulging trophy cabinet, but it just wasn't meant to be.

This year, despite moments of brilliance, he didn't really get going and heads home having once again failed to score in a World Cup knockout game. It's a shame for his career to end on such a sour note, but it might be time for Messi to announce his retirement from Argentina once again and stick to it this time.

5. Stay Fit For His Club

When he was just a young boy, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency and required special treatment in order to help his body develop. In the early years of his time at Barcelona, he was quite prone to injuries, and despite being an exemplary athlete, Messi has never been known for his physique or endurance.

While his Portuguese counterpart, Cristiano Ronaldo, takes drastic measures to maintain astonishing levels of fitness and sculpt his body into something resembling a Greek god, Messi isn't as tall, strong, or athletic. He's still got the talent, vision, and dribbling skills of his younger years, but time has taken its toll on the Argentinian, and as players get into their thirties, they need to start making compromises to cope with their gradual loss of pace and endurance.

At club level, Messi is still contributing enormously to Barcelona's domestic success. He scored 45 goals in all competitions for the Spanish side last season, which is an incredible achievement but a far cry from the 73 strike tally he accumulated back in the 2011-12 season. He's still an outstanding player with so much to offer, but it might be time for him to put the focus fully on his club career and give himself a bit of a rest during international breaks and tournaments.


Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.