Lionel Messi has cast doubt upon his chances of playing at a 13th major tournament for Argentina at the 2026 World Cup.

The Inter Miami star will turn 39 during that tournament, which takes place in the United States, Canada and Mexico in two years' time. 

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner has seemingly left the door ajar to a final swansong at the world's biggest international tournament, though he admits his participation will be dependent on how he feels as he edges closer to the end of his glittering career. 

"It depends on how I feel, on how I am physically," Messi said in an interview with Infobae. 

"I have to be realistic with myself and know if I am up to the task of being able to compete and help the team-mates next to me. There is some time left, and I don't know how I will be at that moment. 

"Age is also a reality, although it is a number, and the games that I am going to play [at Inter Miami] are not the same as the ones I played when I was in Europe. 

"It will depend on how I feel, what I feel when I'm next to my team-mates, and I'll see if I'm still up to par or not."

Messi has 12 goals and nine assists in 12 MLS appearances this season, with the Argentina captain set to lead his country's bid to retain their Copa America title in the coming weeks.

La Albiceleste kick-off their campaign against Canada on June 20 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and Messi believes the competition at this year's tournament is as strong as it has ever been. 

"I think that Argentina is always favourite," he said. "When a tournament starts, be it a World Cup, Copa America or whatever, Argentina is a candidate just like Brazil and more so in this Copa America. 

"But I think that today the South American teams are very strong. Uruguay are very good, as are Colombia and Ecuador. I think it will be a very level Copa America."

Lionel Scaloni will take charge of Argentina at a fourth international tournament and will be hopeful his number 10 can lead them to glory once more. 

Amid talk it could be Messi's last competition with his country, Scaloni wants supporters to focus on the present, rather than looking to the future. 

"We Argentines are too melancholic. We are already thinking about the day when he is not there, when he is still playing," Scaloni told Telemundo Deportes.

"Let's enjoy it and we'll see tomorrow, because I think the present is so important, not only for Argentina, because, in the end, Leo plays for those who like football. Someday it will happen."

Jamie Vardy has signed a one-year contract extension to stay at Leicester City until June 2025.

The 37-year-old signed for the Foxes in 2012 from non-league Fleetwood Town and is third on the club's all-time top scorer list with 190 goals in 464 appearances.

He won the Premier League with Leicester in 2015-16 and also lifted the FA Cup, Community Shield and two Championship titles.

Last season, he scored 20 goals in all competitions, helping them get promoted back to the top-flight as champions after just one season out of the Premier League.

In a statement on the club website, Vardy said: "To get the numbers that I did [last season], I'm delighted with it, but there's still more to come.

"I've always said that age is just a number. My legs feel fine so that's why I carry on until my legs say, 'That's it, game over'. There will be a day when that comes, but that's not right now.

"We look forward to another season in the Premier League and seeing what we can do. One hundred per cent, it's the best league in the world. That's where you want to be playing your football."

Nemanja Matic believes Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford's omission from England's Euro 2024 squad can only be good news for Serbia. 

Gareth Southgate confirmed his 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament in Germany on Thursday, with a number of high-profile names set to watch the Three Lions' bid for a first international trophy in 58 years from home. 

From the preliminary squad, James Trafford, Jarrad Branthwaite, Jarell Quansah, Harry Maguire, Curtis Jones, James Maddison and Grealish have all been dropped ahead of the Three Lions' final friendly fixture against Iceland.

Manchester United forward Rashford was not included in the initial 33-man party, having managed just seven league goals for Erik ten Hag's side this season.

He will miss his first international tournament since he was first called up to the senior England team in 2016. 

Matic, who retired from international football with Serbia in 2020, believes the absence of his former United team-mate – as well as that of Grealish – will only benefit his nation when they face England in their Group C opener in Gelsenkirchen on June 16. 

The former two-time Premier League winner wrote on X: "I would always like to have players like Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish in the team, players who can decide the game with one move! Not selected, good news for us."

Grealish has made 10 appearances in the last two major tournaments, nine of which came from the bench as he was deployed in the role of an impact player. 

All 36 of his England caps have come under Southgate, but a stop-start campaign with Manchester City saw the 28-year-old limited to 20 league appearances in 2023-24, after he provided five goals and seven assists as City won the treble in 2022-23.

Despite helping his side lift the FA Cup for a 13th time last month, Rashford was unable to replicate the form that saw him score 30 goals in all competitions during the 2022-23 campaign, meaning he will not be able to add to his 17 England goals in Germany. 

Costa Rica and Honduras were among the winners on the second day of round two of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday.

Costa Rica won 4-nil over Saint Kitts and Nevis in Group B at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Orlando Galo struck with a header in the box to open the scoring in the 40’, connecting on a long service from Jefferson Brenes following a throw-in.

Galo secured his brace in the 50’ with a left footed strike just outside the box.

Josimar Alcocer came off the bench to add a third for the hosts in the 83'.

Andy Rojas, another second half substitute, extended the lead in the 84' to secure the three points.

Costa Rica will travel to face Grenada on Sunday in St. George's. Saint Kitts and Nevis will host the Bahamas on Tuesday in Basseterre.

Honduras won 3-1 over Cuba in Group A at the Chelato Ucles National Stadium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Maykel Reyes struck first for the visitors in the 23', capping off a counterattack with a chipped ball from the penalty arc.

Antony Lozano tied the match minutes later, in the 26', as Honduras took advantage of a free kick from short distance. Luis Palma delivered the service over the top, which Lozano received with his chest as he spun to hit the ball with his right foot.

Edwin Rodriguez obtained the lead for Honduras in the 45'+2 with a left footed shot in the box.

Rubilio Castillo extended the lead in the 82' with a strike off a long pass from the right side of the box by fellow second half substitute David Ruiz.

Up next for Honduras is playing away at Bermuda on Sunday. Cuba will host the Cayman Islands on Tuesday in Santiago de Cuba.

Haiti defeated Saint Lucia, 2-1, in Group C at Wildey Turf in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Caniggia Elva opened the scoring in the 18' to put Saint Lucia on the board.

Jean-Kevin Duverne tied the match in the 47', connecting with a strong header off a corner kick service from Fabrice Picault.

Duckens Nazon completed the comeback in the 78', powering through the defense for the match-winning goal.

The Haiti national team will remain in Bridgetown to face Barbados on Sunday. Saint Lucia will also stay on the island to host Aruba on Tuesday at Wildey Turf.

Panama took a 2-nil victory over Guyana in Group D at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama.

Cristian Martinez broke the deadlock in the 62' with a goal inside the box, connecting on a pass over the top from Adalberto Carrasquilla.

Jose Rodri­guez made it a two-goal lead for the hosts in the 65' with a one-hit finish on the other end of a service from Edgar Barcenas.

The next opponent for Panama is Montserrat on Sunday in Managua, Nicaragua. Guyana will meet Belize on Tuesday at Wildey Turf in Bridgetown, Barbados.

El Salvador and Puerto Rico played to a scoreless draw in Group F at the Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Darwin Ceren had a look towards goal in the 23’ but the attempt went wide of the goal.

The hosts came close again in the 26’ as a long-range attempt from Christian Martinez hit the crossbar.

Leandro Antonetti delivered a menacing header in the 78’ but was just wide of the left post as the match stayed scoreless.

Goalkeepers Mario Gonzalez and Joel Serrano ended the night with their first clean sheets of the campaign.

Suriname, who won on Wednesday, maintains its spot at the top of the group as a result. Anguilla and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have yet to play their first match.

Next for El Salvador is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday in Paramaribo, Suriname. Puerto Rico will host Anguilla on Tuesday in Bayamon.

 

Caleb Porter wants to use New England Revolution's win last weekend as a springboard to turn their season around as they prepare to face the New York Red Bulls.

The Revs had won just one of their previous seven matches in the MLS before travelling to Nashville SC and held out for a much-needed 2-1 victory.

They remain bottom of the Eastern Conference, and Porter's main aim is to find some consistency, but admits that might be hard with players leaving to go on international duty.

"We want to keep continuity as much as we can because we're finally getting some continuity in our understanding," Porter said, as quoted in the Blazing Musket substack.

"That's going to breed more and more consistency in our play. So, we'll keep continuity as much as we can, but we have a couple of ideas on what we're going to do."

"It will be our execution against their execution. I don't think there will be a tonne of mysteries about what they're looking to do. It's going to come down to who executes better," he added in a press conference.

Meanwhile, New York Red Bulls sit fourth in the table having won back-to-back home games, but have struggled on the road of late, something Sandro Schwarz is keen to change.

"We need our home mentality and our whole energy for Saturday. We didn't change the first days in our week or our preparation," Schwarz said.

"Even with all the changes as players go off internationally, we haven't let it affect us. It's an opportunity for us to get the next three points, it's our chance, we have to be focused and bring the intensity on Saturday."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New England – Carles Gil

Gil's first-half goal in Saturday's win at Nashville was his sixth goal from outside the box in regular-season play since the beginning of last season. Only Thiago Almada (seven) has scored more goals from outside the box than him in that time.

New York RB – John Tolkin

Tolkin scored his third career direct free-kick goal for the Red Bulls (incl. playoffs) in the win over Orlando on Saturday, more than any other player for the side since the start of the 2010 season.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

New England have lost only three of their last 33 home MLS matches against the Red Bulls (W21 D9, incl. playoffs) dating back to September 2002, including winning eight of the last 11 (D1 L2).

However, the Revolution have lost their last three home matches, their first such losing streak since June-July 2014. The Revs have only one longer losing streak (excluding breakaway shootouts) in all competitions in club history, losing five straight in July-September 1999.

Meanwhile, New York's 1-0 win over Orlando on Saturday took them to 29 points from 16 matches this season (W8 D5 L3). The Red Bulls could equal the club record of 32 points in the first half of a season with a win over the Revs, reaching that total in the Supporters' Shield-winning 2018 campaign.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New England – 29.5%

Draw – 24.7%

New York RB – 45.7%

Belgium boss Domenico Tedesco has opted to stick with a 25-man squad for Euro 2024, despite having the option to include an additional player.

Tedesco initially named a 25-player party, notably excluding Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, while inviting Arne Engels and Mandela Keita to train with the team ahead of their final warm-up matches against Montenegro and Luxembourg.

The head coach was expected to maximise his squad to the allowed capacity of 26 players before the deadline by including one of the young midfielders, but he has chosen to remain with his provisional selection.

Nevertheless, Belgium have plenty of quality and experience throughout the squad, including the likes of skipper Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Leandro Trossard and Youri Tielemans, as well as most-capped player Jan Vertonghen. 

"We have decided to go to the European Championship with 25 [players]," Tedesco told reports during a press conference.

"It's all about the group spirit. I didn't want to disappoint a young player. I have always been clear that we would go to Germany with 25."

The Red Devils boss also provided an injury update on Vertonghen, who is currently nursing a groin problem, but is expected to recover in time for the tournament.

"It won't be long before Vertonghen is back," Tedesco added. "Of course, it is not easy for him to be on the sidelines, but he is an important player in our selection."

Belgium complete their preparations against Luxembourg on Saturday. They begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Slovakia on June 17, while also facing Ukraine and Romania in Group E.

Pau Cubarsi, Marcos Llorente and Aleix Garcia have been cut from Luis de la Fuente Castillo's Spain squad for Euro 2024.

De la Fuente named a 29-man party last month, with a youthful look to it, as Spain aim to regain European glory in Germany.

Cubarsi started Spain's friendly win over Andorra, setting up Ayoze Perez, who is a surprise inclusion in the final squad, for his debut goal.

Despite impressing in his breakout season in LaLiga, there is no place for the 17-year-old as De la Fuente opts for a more experienced group of centre-backs in Robin Le Normand, Nacho, Aymeric Laporte and Dani Vivian.

Llorente also misses out, with Cubarsi's fellow Barcelona youngster, Fermin Lopez, keeping his place after impressing with an assist in his first international appearance on Wednesday.

Garcia is the other midfielder not to make the cut despite drawing attention with Girona as they finished third in LaLiga, scoring three goals and adding six assists in the league in 2023-24.

Spain will begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Croatia in Group B on June 15, before playing Italy and Albania in their other group matches. 

Final Spain squad: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Remiro (Real Sociedad), David Raya (Arsenal), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Aymeric Laporte (Al-Nassr), Nacho (Real Madrid), Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad), Dani Vivian (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea), Rodrigo (Manchester City), Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Fabian Ruiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Pedri (Barcelona), Alex Baena (Villarreal), Fermin Lopez (Barcelona), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Joselu (Real Madrid), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Ayoze Perez (Real Betis), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Lamine Yamal (Barcelona).

Gianluigi Buffon revealed Nicolo Barella will undergo further tests ahead of Euro 2024, but believes the injured midfielder could replicate Gennaro Gattuso's exploits during Italy's 2006 World Cup triumph.

The Inter midfielder, who has been named in Luciano Spalletti's final squad for the forthcoming European Championship in Germany, was absent from Tuesday's goalless draw with Turkiye with a minor muscle problem.

Former goalkeeper Buffon, now Italy's head of delegation, played a key role in the side that triumphed at the World Cup 18 years ago, and what was the last major international tournament to be played on German soil.

Meanwhile, after missing the 2-0 victory over Ghana in their tournament opener through injury, Gattuso was a constant in the middle of the park thereon as Marcelo Lippi's side landed their fourth World crown.

And while he could still make Italy's first game in Group B against Albania on June 15, Buffon feels Barella could play a similar role to the former Milan central midfielder.

"I hope he will be like Gattuso at the [2006] World Cup," Buffon said. "He missed the first game, but then he became a protagonist. Yet, in the beginning, they wanted to send him home!

“Nicolo will undergo further tests, but he could already be available against Albania.”

Italy, who will also play Spain and Croatia in Group B, complete their preparations for the tournament against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday.

The Azzurri have already seen Francesco Acerbi and Giorgio Scalvini withdraw from the squad through injury, while Lorenzo Pellegrini limped off against Turkiye and was seen on the bench with an icepack strapped to his knee.

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo on a free transfer.

Tosin signed a four-year contract with the Blues, completing his medical earlier this week to become the first signing under new head coach Enzo Maresca.

The centre-back rejected a new contract earlier in this season, and Fulham announced on Tuesday that he would be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Newcastle United and Manchester United were also in the race for his signature, but Tosin, who worked with Maresca at Manchester City in the past, decided on the switch to Chelsea, with the lure of European football supposedly drawing him to the club.

After joining the Blues, Tosin said: "Chelsea is a huge club and this is a full-circle moment for me. I was born three miles away from Stamford Bridge and made my professional debut there [for Manchester City].

"I'm here to win. I want to win. It's as simple as that really. I just want to keep working and pushing the team and the club in the direction we want to go in. I'm excited to get going."

Tosin made 132 appearances for Fulham in all competitions after joining in 2020, helping them win the Championship title in 2021-22.

The 26-year-old made 20 appearances for the Cottagers in the Premier League last season, scoring two goals.  

Rob Page acknowledged Wales' fans are "entitled" to be frustrated after they were held to a shock goalless draw by Gibraltar.

Page was jeered by sections of the travelling supporters at Estadio Do Algarve, where the youthful Dragons were unable to break down the nation ranked 203rd in the world.

Gibraltar had lost each of their 13 previous matches by an aggregate score of 50-0, but managed to hold out for a memorable draw against the Euro 2016 semi-finalists.

Despite registering 16 shots and having an xG of 1.13, the closest Wales came to scoring was when Josh Sheehan's inswinging corner came back off the crossbar.

It marked another disappointment for Wales, who failed to qualify for Euro 2024 after their play-off defeat to Poland on penalties in March.

Page understands the frustrations of the supporters - some of whom called for him to leave - but insists he remains focused on "the long-term plan" and his side's return to competitive action in three months' time.

"They are entitled to their opinion, absolutely. I get it, I completely get it," Page said when asked about being booed.

"I'm a Welsh supporter as well as the manager, I'm disappointed. But I have to keep saying about the bigger picture, and I'll probably get criticised for that. It's the bigger picture, and we're not going to lose focus on what we've done."

"If you've got a business plan and a long-term plan, you can't be emotional. It's a draw against a Gibraltar team that we're really disappointed with, and our focus is on getting the team and squad ready for September to win Nations League games."

A 16th minute strike by Shamar Nicholson proved the difference as Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz edged Dominican Republic 1-0 to open their Concacaf World Cup qualifying account on a positive note at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Nicholson’s strike, his 17th international goal and third in World Cup qualifiers, highlighted an unsatisfactory evening for Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side, as the defence was at times vulnerable, while the wasteful attacking front was marred by a lack of composure and poor decision-making in the final third. This was much to the disappointment of the sizeable crowd which surprisingly turned out despite the early kickoff and rainfall.

Still, for Hallgrimsson, the most important outcome was securing the three points, which propelled the Boyz to second in Group E on three points, same as leaders Guatemala, who hammered Dominica 6-0 in their opening clash on Wednesday.

“We should have finished it off, but when you are winning 1-0, it's always uncomfortable because then it only needs a corner or a freekick and the ball goes in. So you never kind of feel relaxed, but we should have killed the game off with the chances we got. Apart from that, it (our performance) was below par, and we can do much better than we did today,” Hallgrimsson said in a post-game interview.

“But given a lot of these players are coming back from not playing, it was kind of given that some of them would not be ready for a competitive match right away. We can for sure improve from this performance, but the most important thing is that we got the win and we kept a clean sheet,” he added.

After a cagey start by both teams, the Jamaicans eventually showed some attacking intent in the 12th minute through the fleet-footed Renaldo Cephas, who utilised his pace to good effect to breach Dominican Republic's defence, but he couldn't get on target at that point.

Dominican Republic tried to play their game, through steady and penetrative build ups, and it was one of those attempts to open up in attack that allowed the Jamaicans to break the deadlock on the counter. This, as Cephas won possession on the break and left the last defender in his wake on his way into the 18-yard box where he played a pass across goal to Nicholson, who applied a cool finish beyond custodian Miguel Lloyd.

The Boyz tried to press the ascendancy from there, but were unable to make their dominance in possession count, as their star man Michail Antonio was subjected to heavy physical treatment throughout. In fact, the Jamaicans next best chance of the first half was courtesy of Bobby Reid's 33rd-minute freekick from just outside the 18-yard box, which went just wide of the left upright.

Much like they did at the start, both teams were again slow into rhythm on the resumption, as both lacked enterprise in their build ups, and as such, failed to create anything meaningful in the attacking third.

It was until the 72nd minute that the Jamaicans again came to life when Cephas’s blistering pace down the left channel forced Luiyi De Lucas to take fell him inside the danger area and gift the Jamaicans a penalty. However, Reid couldn't make the 12-yard kick count as his effort went at a decent height for Lloyd to parry.

Eight minutes later, Reid again unleashed Cephas, who had Deshane Beckford alongside him in a two-on-one counter, but the former selfishly hogged possession and inevitably had his tame effort blocked by the advancing Lloyd.

Though they continued to threatening in a sustained attacking spell in the latter stages of the contest, the Jamaicans were found wanting in the decision-making which robbed them of any real opportunity to add to their tally.