Qatar World Cup

Lionel Messi Joins Cristiano Ronaldo by Breaking World Cup Records

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It’s been up and running at Qatar 2022. There’s been some outstanding records. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot in a 3-2 win against Ghana to break a fantastic record of being the first male player to score at five World cup finals(2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). Meanwhile, two of the world’s best, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have led the way with setting World Cup records.

A Chaotic Tournament

Qatar were balked 2-0 by the Ecuadorians, becoming the first ever World Cup hosts to lose the tournament’s opening fixture. The subsequent 3-1 defeat to Senegal also meant the Arabian hosts suffered the earlier exit from the tournament since its’ inception in 1930, not a World Cup record that any nation wants.

Eighteen year old Pablo Gavira found the back of the net in La Roja’s total and utter annihilation of Northern America Costa Rica, breaking a couple of World Cup records including becoming the youngest player to score on a World Cup debut, youngest player to make an appearance for Spain at the tournament(also youngest player since Pele in 1958 to score at a World cup fixture.

Speaking of World Cup records, Argentina talisman, Lionel Messi helped his team to a 2-0 win over Mexico on Saturday night. By so doing, he Equalled the late Diego Maradona’s record by an Argentine international of 21 appearances at the World Cup finals. The seven time Ballon d’Or winner did this in grand style by firing his country into a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute of play with a powerful strike that had Mexican goalie, Guillermo Ochoa stretching across his goal.

Messi topped up his team’s win by assisting the second on the night which came through a beautiful 87th minute hard-to-beat curler from substitute, Enzo Fernandez.

Maradona and Messi are somewhat similar when it comes to international football so it’s really pleasing to see La Pulga equal a record set by one of the greatest names in Argentina footballing history. Now can Lionel Messi break any other Argentina World Cup Records?

Diego Maradona’s World Cup Heroics

The late Diego Maradona played his first ever World cup finals match in the 1982 edition of the tournament hosted in Spain against Belgium losing 1-0. In total, he played five games in the World cup, scoring two goals as his country got knocked out in the second round in a group consisting of Italy and Brazil.

The Argentine legend then led his team to victory in the 1986 World cup hosted in Mexico, scoring an impressive five goals in seven games, including the “Hand of God” and the Goal of the Century against England in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Maradona featured at the 1990 World Cup held in Italy, playing all seven games in which his team lost 1-0 to West Germany in the final. Aged 33, he played his last World Cup in 1994 in the United States, appearing in only two matches, and making for a total of 21. By the time he called it a career, Maradona held plenty of World Cup records.

Lionel Messi’s World Cup History

2006 World Cup

Leo made his first World cup appearance for La Albiceste sixteen long years ago. Drawn into a group consisting of Ivory Coast, Serbia and Netherlands, he scored on his debut against Serbia and also assisted in a 6-0 win. He also featured against the Netherlands and in the last-16 tie against Mexico, played on his 19th birthday.

2010 World Cup

In the 2010 World Cup, Messi played an integral part of the Diego Maradona led tram that progressed to the quarter-finals. He appeared in all three group games against Nigeria, South Korea and Greece, all resulting in wins. He played in his country’s 3-1 win over Mexico in the round of 16 and also in his side’s 4-0 defeat to an utterly ruthless Germany side.

2014 World Cup

La Pulga began the 2014 World cup campaign helping his side to a 2-1 win over Bosnia with a goal. He scored an injury time screamer against Iran to secure a 1-0 win over the Middle eastern country, qualifying for the knock out stages in the process. He found the back of the net twice in La Albiceste’s intriguing 3-2 win over Nigeria.

He helped his country to a 1-0 win over Switzerland in the last 16, Argentina beat Belgium in the last eight of the competition, knocked the Dutch out on penalties in the semis but lost to Germany in the final of the tournament.

2018 World Cup

Messi played all of Argentina’s games in the 2018 World cup. A 1-1 draw against Iceland, 3-0 shock loss to Croatia and a 2-1 win over Nigeria, in which he scored to help the country reach the round of 16 where they were eliminated 4-3 by eventual winners, France.

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The tallies of the four consecutive World cups brought Messi to 19 appearances at the finals of the tournament. Adding the game against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, Messi is now on par with the only other greatest player in Argentina footballing history. However, it took Maradona four World cups to reach a tally of 21 while Messi had to star at five to achieve the same feat.

Lionel Messi’s strike puts his World cup tally at 8, equalling Ronaldo’s 8 and Maradona who also scored eight at the prestigious tournament.

Argentina sit in third in Group C, behind Saudi Arabia on head-to-head record, a point behind Poland’s four and two ahead of Mexico’s one. It’s a very interesting group in which any two teams can still qualify, Mexico included. La Albiceste securing a win against Poland on Wednesday would guarantee a spot in the knock-out stages. However, should they draw, they would still escape first stage elimination provided Mexico beat Saudi Arabia.

Let us know your thoughts on these World Cup records in the comments below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Jesuyemi is an avid fan of sports, especially football. He also enjoys WWE and athletics. He's been writing for a few years now and is a supporter of FC Barcelona.