Lionel Messi will not be thinking about anything beyond the next event of celebration coming his way when he gets back to Argentina, cradling the World Cup trophy in his arms. No doubt the next ten days will be dedicated to enjoying and celebrating the greatest achievement of his career.
However as soon as he returns to Paris, he will be faced with an important decision on his future. Speaking after the World Cup final, Paris Saint-Germain CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi explained that the two parties would sit down together after when he got back to Paris.
“I don’t want to say anything about Leo, we have an agreement to talk after the World Cup,” he told Sport.
On the final, where Al-Khelaifi was in attendance, he expressed his disappointment for Kylian Mbappe.
“I am sad for France, as the leader of a French club, sad for Kylian, who has played the perfect game.”
“But I’m happy for Leo, it was the icing on the cake, he deserves it, and Kylian has many years to win another World Cup.”
Amid rumours of discontent surrounding Mbappe, PSG may well be even more motivated to hang onto Messi, whose contract expires next summer.
The other two teams closely linked are Barcelona and Inter Miami. There could be entirely different motivations for him to take any of those three courses of decision in the coming months. It is difficult to know how the World Cup victory will have affected his mindset.
Feeling he has nothing left to prove, he may opt to sail off into the Atlantic sunset towards US shores. Equally, the World Cup has shown that he can still make the difference at the summit of world football. With money a concern for Barcelona, they would have to rely on the sentimental pull of unfinished business.