Lionel Messi knows his illustrious career is running out of time as the Argentina great suggested his club playing days will end with Inter Miami.

The Barcelona legend completed a switch to MLS side Miami last year after two decades of European football with the Blaugrana and Paris Saint-Germain.

As Messi starts to prepare for Argentina's Copa America defence this month, retirement remains a pertinent question for the global superstar.

The 36-year-old, speaking to ESPN, acknowledged Miami will likely "be my last club" as the fear sets in over ending his playing career sooner rather than later.

"I've done this all of my life; I love playing ball," the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner said on Wednesday.

"I enjoy the practices and the day-to-day, the games. There's a bit of fear that it's all ending. It's always there. It was a difficult step leaving Europe to come here [Miami].

"The fact we won the World Cup helped, it helped a lot, to see things in another way. But I try not to think about it, I try to enjoy it.

"I do that more now because I'm aware that there's not a lot of time left. So I have a good time with the club, being lucky to have good team-mates and friends at my side.

"I enjoy my time with the national team, where I also have good friends, too, and a lot. I enjoy those small details that I know I'll miss when I stop playing."

Messi is Barcelona's all-time top scorer with 672 goals, as well as lifting four Champions League trophies amid a glittering career.

Yet the ageing forward insists World Cup glory in 2022 remains his crowning moment, following in the footsteps of late Albiceleste great Diego Maradona.

"Obviously, I was sad that he couldn't experience what we experienced [winning the 2022 World Cup], because I know what he felt for the national team and what he would say about Argentina being world champion again," he added.

"We went through a World Cup together which aside from the result was an impressive experience, going through that day-to-day with him, how happy he was, seeing him enjoy being the manager.

"So I try to remember all the good times that we had together. I know that he loved me a lot, and I loved him, despite what was said in the media.

"The reality is we had a lot of affection for each other, and since he met me he was always supportive and wanted the best for me.

"It was a shame that he couldn't live to experience it like the rest of the country did."