Inter Miami set to be Lionel Messi's final club amid Olympics uncertainty. GETTY IMAGES

Lionel Messi plans to finish his career with Inter Miami, but he isn't looking to retire just yet. While he remains committed to his club, it is still uncertain whether he will participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics with the Argentinian football team.

The 36-year-old, eight-time Ballon d'Or winner joined Major League Soccer's Inter Miami last summer after departing Paris Saint-Germain. This move followed a stellar career at Barcelona, where he secured four Champions League titles and 10 LaLiga triumphs.

The 2022 World Cup champion with Argentina has a contract with Inter Miami until 2025, with an option to extend for an additional year. Messi is performing as if retirement is far from his mind, having scored 12 goals and provided 13 assists in 12 matches this season for the MLS leaders.

"As of today, I think it's going to be my last club," the forward told ESPN. "I'm not ready to leave football either," he added. Messi is set to compete in the Copa America, as Argentina aims to defend their 2021 title. The tournament is taking place in the United States, where Messi has been residing for the past year.

Lionel Messi has revealed his last club could be his current, Inter Miami. GETTY IMAGES
Lionel Messi has revealed his last club could be his current, Inter Miami. GETTY IMAGES

"It was a difficult step to leave Europe to come here," Messi said. The fact of having been world champion helped a lot to see things differently also. I love playing football. I enjoy the training, every day of the matches. 

"(I am) a little afraid that everything will end. That's why I enjoy everything much more, because I'm aware that there's less and less to go and I have a good time at the club. I enjoy the little details that I know I'm going to miss when I don't play any more."

Messi heading to Paris?

Questions mark his participation at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, despite being handed the captaincy by under-23 coach Javier Mascherano. Messi will have already turned 37 before the start of the competition, but fans remain optimistic that he will step foot in the French capital.

"I spoke with Leo and we agreed to keep talking," Mascherano, a former teammate of Messi, told TyC Sports in an interview back in March. "He has just started the season with Inter Miami and we still have some time until the Olympic Games. And we have to consider he also has the Copa América ahead this summer. It is not an easy situation.

"We have to see if he really has the energy to be there (in Paris). It is not our intention to bother him or pressure him. We made him an invitation in advance and we gave him all the facts he needs to think about it and to talk with his club. It is not easy for him, either, to manage it with Inter Miami and the MLS and to be absent for a while. He will decide at the right time."

Lionel Messi already has his hands on a gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. GETTY IMAGES
Lionel Messi already has his hands on a gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

Thiago Almada, the current captain of the under-23 team, expressed readiness to relinquish the captaincy if Messi joins the squad for the Paris Games. He told Dsports, “I am very happy for the group and the coaching staff, they deserve it. We showed that we were better throughout the tournament, always surpassing our opponent.

"We have time to train and to continue to improve for the Olympic games. I hope Messi has the desire and can be at the Olympic games, it would be a dream. If Messi comes, I’ll give him the captain’s armband, obviously."

Messi already holds a gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, having obtained permission from Barcelona to compete at the time. His decision to participate in the upcoming Olympics in Paris, though, remains uncertain, leaving the footballing world eagerly awaiting his final choice.