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13th Dec 2022

Three World Cup records that Lionel Messi can break against Croatia

Lee Costello

Messi Croatia

Soon he will have the record for most records.

Lionel Messi will captain Argentina tonight as they play Croatia in the World Cup semi-final, and what is already a monumental occasion, could be even more special for the PSG star.

The Argentina legend has broken record after record throughout his illustrious career, at both club and international level.

However, even at 35 years old, his already guaranteed place in football folklore can be cemented even further, as his incredible legacy continues to grow.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that Messi is in the ‘GOAT’ conversation; arguably the best to ever do it, but for hard cold facts, here are some of the reasons why.

Messi Croatia

Records Messi already has.

  • Top scorer in La Liga history
  • Most La Liga goals in a single season (50)
  • Top goalscorer in Barcelona’s history
  • Top goalscorer for his country
  • Most assists ever in World football
  • Most Ballon d’or wins with seven so far
  • Joint top goalscorer for Argentina at a World Cup
  • Most appearances for Argentina at a World Cup
  • First player to score at four different World cups for Argentina
  • First player to score in his teens, twenties and thirties at a World Cup

Messi Croatia

Those are just some of the main ones, but there are several others and when accumulated together, they could be compiled to make a short book. For now, we think you get the point.

In tonight’s game however, Messi has the chance to break three more records, and all he has to do for the first one is be on the pitch.

Most appearances in World Cup history.

Messi Croatia

The former Barcelona star will equal Lothar Matthäus’ record of most ever appearances at a World Cup when he takes the field tonight in Qatar.

The German legend is currently top of the list, with 25 caps to his name, and Messi will match that tonight – an incredible achievement that is testament to not only his incredible talent, but his longevity at the top.

Of course, the Argentina captain will be wanting to go one further and if he were to make the final, then it would be his 26th game, pushing him to the top of the list and with an incredibly fitting way to bow out of the tournament.

Most goals for Argentina at a World Cup.

Messi Croatia

Messi equalled Gabriel Batistua’s record of 10 World Cup goals for Argentina when he converted his spot kick against the Netherlands in the quarter finals.

If the magical number 10 were to find the net again tonight, he would be crowned as the all-time top scorer at the tournament for his nation.

Given the fact that he already has two goals from play and takes all of the penalties and free kicks, it doesn’t seem that unlikely.

Equal Pele’s goalscoring record.

Messi Croatia

When it comes to the conversation of being the ‘Greatest of all Time’ Messi is instinctively compared with two players.

Firstly, he is, and always will be, compared with the great Diego Maradona, due to the fact that they are both Argentinian, small, the number 10 and play with a similar style, not to mention that they’ve both captained their country as well as been its talisman.

Secondly, Cristiano Ronaldo has been his contemporary rival, the only other player on the planet who has been able to match and even beat Messi when it comes to scoring goals and winning trophies.

However, the original GOAT in the world of football will always be Pele, the first proper superstar to come from the game after winning the World Cup as a teenager in 1958, going on to bag two more for his trophy cabinet before retirement.

Messi Croatia

The Brazilian striker was also the first player to score 1,000 goals and you need to compete with his record in order to convince people that you deserve to be the best of all time.

Pele has notched up 12 goals in the World Cup, meaning that if Messi were to score twice tonight, then he would equal the legend’s record.

The midfield magician is yet to score twice in one game at this tournament, and would still have the chance to do it in either the final, or the third place play-off if they make it that far, but don’t be surprised if he manages to do it tonight.

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