The remark was made by Pablo Zabaleta, Messi’s former Messi teammate in the Argentine national team, after La Albiceleste was hit by a 3-0 defeat by Croatia in their second leg in Group D 2018.
With that result, Argentina have only collected one point from two matches. With one game remaining, Nigeria’s opponents on June 26, Argentina need a positive result while hoping the results in other matches also benefited to be eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.
Zabaleta, who became part of the Argentina squad when it broke through the 2014 World Cup final, believes that Messi will end his career as soon as Team Tango’s gait ends if it fails to qualify for the last 16.
“I just feel very sympathetic to Lionel Messi,” Zabaleta told the BBC.
“This is his last chance to win anything with Argentina and I would not be surprised if he retired from international football after this.”
“He will be very disappointed and there are still four more years before (World Cup) next in Qatar,” he said.
Messi is now 30 years old and his action with the new national team Argentina led the U-20 World Cup title in 2005 and Olympic gold medal in 2008.
Players from the Barcelona club had announced the retirement of the Argentina national team on June 27, 2016 after losing to Chile in the final of the Copa America. On 12 August 2016, Messi discouraged retirement and returned to be a mainstay of Argentina.