- Lionel Messi has said he does not want to retire until he lifts the World Cup trophy
- The striker made the revelation while celebrating his 31st birthday ahead of Argentina's crucial tie against Nigeria
- Argentina are staring at a dramatic exit from the 2018 World Cup after registering dismal performances
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has made it clear he does not want to retire from international duty until he lifts the World Cup trophy with his national side, Argentina.
Messi made the revelation while celebrating his 31st birthday on Sunday, June 24 ahead of Argentina's crucial tie against Nigeria.
The star forward insisted that he will not give up on his dream of bringing the World Cup back to Argentina amid retirement rumours.
"It means so much because for Argentina the World Cup is special - and for me too," the Mirror UK quoted Messi.
''I've always had the dream of watching me raise the World Cup. And then seeing the emotion that goes with it.
''My hair stands on end just thinking about that moment. It would make millions of Argentine's in the world happy. So we cannot give up on that dream," he added.
Messi further noted that he has already won important awards in his career including the Champions League with Barcelona, but he is eager to win the World Cup.
''I have won all the most important tournaments but I am ambitious to the end. I would not like to retire from active football without being a world champion with my country," he said.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner initially brought his international duty to a brief halt in 2016, before earning a call up months later to guide Argentina to the 2018 World Cup.
At the time, the Barcelona skipper admitted that he did not think through his retirement announcement.
Currently, Argentina are facing an uphill task of qualifying for the next stage of the World Cup after registering dismal performances in their campaign.
Should Argentina fail to win the 2018 World Cup, Messi will have to wait until 2022 to have another shot on the evasive trophy.
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