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Lionel Messi says he hasn't yet thought about when he will retire

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(CNN) — Age, they say, is just a number – an adage that appears to ring true for soccer star Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF looks on during the first half of the Concacaf Champions Cup Leg One Round of 16 match against Nashville SC at GEODIS Park on March 07, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images

In an interview with the Big Time Podcast released on Wednesday, the 36-year-old Messi revealed that he doesn't see his advancing years as an important factor in determining when to end his career.

He also said that he hasn't considered when he might call time on his playing days, during which he has won the World Cup with Argentina, 10 La Liga and four Champions League titles with Barcelona and eight Ballon d'Or awards.

"The truth is I haven't thought about it yet," said Messi, who turns 37 in June. "Today, I try to enjoy it day-by-day, enjoy every moment without thinking about it more than that.

"I don't have anything clear yet but to keep playing, which is what I'd like to do for a while longer. When the moment arrives, surely I'll find the path to whatever fills me with joy and I enjoy and it'll be a new role."

These days, it's not unusual for athletes to continue their careers into their late 30s and beyond, with Messi's long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo still playing and scoring goals aplenty for Portugal and Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr at the age of 39.

Messi joined MLS side Inter Miami last year and won the Leagues Cup – the first title in his new club's history – in August. The team is currently second in the Eastern Conference standings having played six games this season.

Asked about what will factor into his decision to retire, Messi said: "The moment that I'm not at the level to deliver, that I'm not enjoying it, that I'm not helping my teammates.

"Like I said before at the beginning, I'm very self-critical with myself. I know when I'm good or when I'm bad, when I play well or when I play badly, and when I feel that moment to take that step, I will without thinking about my age.

"If I feel good, I will always keep trying to compete because it's what I like and what I know how to do."

Messi missed Argentina's recent friendlies against El Savaldor and Costa Rica due to a hamstring injury. It's unclear whether he will play a part in Inter Miami's upcoming MLS game against New York City on Saturday.

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