One cannot talk about football without mentioning Lionel Messi’s name. That is the kind of impact that the Argentinian has created.
With 165 appearances for his country, Messi has scored a whopping 91 goals since he made his international debut in 2005.
However, Messi’s FIFA World Cup outings were less eventful than his other international games. He has scored just six goals in 19 matches at the quadrennial event, spanning four editions (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018). All of the six goals have come in the group stage.
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But the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner boasts an excellent record in World Cup qualifiers. In the 60 Qualifying matches that he has featured in, Messi has found the back of the net 26 times and has 10 assists to his name.
In the all-time World Cup top scorers list, it is hard to find the Argentinian legend’s name. At an average of 0.32 goals per game, he is placed way down at 38th place. Germany’s Miroslav Klose tops the list with 16 goals in 24 World Cup matches.
Messi, 35, is now at the Brink of his footballing dawn, and the Qatar World Cup could well be the forward’s one last dance in the multi-nation event.
Messi has recently spoken like a man who finally accepts he cannot go on forever.
“I’m lucky to be able to be at this World Cup at 35 years old,” the Argentine told DirectTV in October. “After this World Cup, we will see what could happen with my career.”
Argentina starts its World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22. Placed in group C, La Albiceleste will also take on Mexico and Poland later in the tournament.