WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Argentina captain Lionel Messi has expressed a desire to extend his international career at least until next year's Copa America in the United States.
The 36-year-old has until now remained non-committal about his plans to continue playing for the Albiceleste and admitted in June that he was "almost at the end of his career".
Despite wanting to play on in the short term, the Inter Miami forward said the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico remained a distant prospect.
"I still don't think about it, it's far away," Messi said in an interview published on social media on Thursday.
"I'm thinking about the Copa America, and I want to do well. And it will be right here in the United States. It's going to be beautiful. We already had the centenary [edition of the Copa America in 2016] here too. We lost the final [to Chile], but the process was beautiful. After that I'll see how I'm doing."
Messi has scored 11 goals in 12 appearances for Inter Miami since joining the Major League Soccer (MLS) club on a free transfer in July.
In August he guided the Florida outfit to the Leagues Cup title -- the club's first trophy -- and has sparked a resurgence in the MLS.
Having arrived when Inter Miami were last in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, Messi has given the club a chance of reaching the playoffs.
In a wide-ranging interview, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star said he would like to remain involved in football after ending his playing days.
"Football is a job, and I am lucky to do a job that I love," he said. "I have responsibilities and targets, but it is still something that I enjoy doing. What will I do next? I don't know. I would like to be a sports director, to be with young people and teach."