In his first World Cup game, Lionel Messi scored a penalty against Saudi Arabia to get his tournament off to a strong start as he looks to smash numerous tournament records.
With Argentina, Lionel Messi is competing in his fifth World Cup, which he has declared to be his final appearance in the competition.
Even though Saudi Arabia won 2-1 at the end of the game, Lionel Messi is off to a strong start and it will be interesting to see how Argentina responds to their disappointing loss in upcoming matches.
Messi already holds the records for most international appearances (166) and goals scored (92) in Argentina. In addition, he has contributed 52 direct goal assists, the most of any player for the South American country.
Although winning the World Cup would complete his collection of medals and solidify his status as the greatest player of all time, there are many other personal records he may achieve in the finals in Qatar despite Argentina’s dismal start.
While Messi won’t be able to reach or surpass Bader Al-Mutawa of Kuwait’s all-time appearance record or Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 117 international goals at this tournament, he will still be vying for a number of other records.
Messi will break the World Cup record for most games played if Argentina advances to the quarterfinals and he plays in every game.
Lothar Matthaus, a former German international, now owns that mark with 25, while Messi is at 20.
Diego Maradona now holds the record as the Argentine with the most World Cup appearances with 21 matches; Messi will almost certainly surpass him.
Prior to the competition, Messi stated, “This World Cup is likely to be my last. Particularly when I played a lot up until the start of the World Cup, I always felt terrific and at ease.
I did nothing special; I just took care of myself as I had throughout my entire career. My chance to realize my great dream of winning the competition and my final World Cup are both certain.”