World Cup 2018: Lionel Messi outlines his plans for the future if Argentina fail to triumph in Russia

Lionel Messi has revealed that his future with the Argentinian national team rests squarely on how the side perform at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Messi, 30, originally announced his international retirement in 2016, when Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner — who has never won an international tournament — said that criticism from the Argentinian media was a big factor in his decision.

Messi eventually reversed his decision and will lead his team at the 2018 World Cup, but suggested he will retire for good if the nation underperforms, telling Spanish newspaper Sport: “I don’t know. It will depend how we do, how it ends.

“The fact we’ve lost three finals now has led to some complicated moments with the Argentine press due to the differences in seeing what it means to reach a final.

“It is not easy and [reaching three finals] has to be appreciated. It’s true that winning them is important, but getting there is not easy.”

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