What was messi first world cup ? The forward has delighted football fans for more than 18 years with his scintillating, elegant brand of football, picking up more than 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues along the way.
Messi’s 2022 World Cup: From disaster to triumph
Eight years ago, Messi came close to the World Cup, dragging his team to the final in Brazil, only to lose to Germany in extra time.
At the start of this World Cup, it looked like another trophyless campaign was on the cards when Saudi Arabia fought back from a Messi opener to beat the South Americans 2-1 in the first of many tournament upsets.
From then on, Argentina grew in confidence, with Messi emerging unsurprisingly as their key player. The veteran forward rolled back the years and was in unstoppable form with seven goals in the tournament – one less than French striker Kylian Mbappe, who won the Golden Boot award.
In the final, he was once again instrumental in his side’s triumph, scoring twice and netting a penalty in the shootout.
The 35-year-old Argentinian also tops the assists charts with three to sit alongside Harry Kane (England), Antoine Griezmann (France) and Bruno Fernandes (Portugal).
How did Messi compare to the other World Cup stars?
For many, the question – who is the greatest player of all time, Messi or his longtime rival and five-time Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo – has finally been decided.
The Portuguese superstar, who has never won the tournament, was benched for his team’s games against Switzerland and Morocco after scoring in a fifth straight World Cup.
It was an anti-climatic exit for the 37-year-old, who has almost certainly played his last World Cup football.
There were high expectations for Messi’s Paris St Germain teammate Neymar. The forward dazzled at times, scoring two goals but was also plagued by injuries at the start of the tournament and ultimately, Brazil could not do enough to beat a disciplined Croatian side and exited at the quarterfinal stage.
Kylian Mbappe, another PSG superstar, enjoyed an excellent tournament in which he finished as the leading goalscorer. The French player scored a hat-trick in the final, topping the list with eight goals.
What are the highlights of Messi’s Argentina career?
Messi made his international debut in 2005 after winning the FIFA World Youth Championship that year. At the 2006 World Cup, he became the youngest Argentinian player to play and score.
Since then, he has joined his compatriot Diego Maradona as a footballing icon both at home and abroad.
- International caps: 172
- International goals: 98
- World Cup appearances: 5
- World Cup matches played: 26 (He is now the player with the most World Cup appearances)
- World Cup goals: 13 (a record for Argentina)
- World Cup finals: 2 (2014, 2022)
- World Cup 2022 goals: 7
- World Cup 2022 assists: 3 (Messi is the only player to register an assist in five World Cups)
- World Cup 2022 Man of the Match awards: 5 (11 overall in World Cups, more than any other player)
- Other International honours: Copa America (2021), CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions (2022), Summer Olympics (2008), FIFA World Youth Championship (2005)
- What individual honours has Messi won?
- Ballon d’Or: 7
- World Cup Golden Ball award: 2
- FIFA World Player of the Year: 1
- The Best FIFA Men’s Player: 1
- European Golden Shoe: 6
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2
- Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: 1
- Argentina’s Footballer of the Year: 14
What has Messi achieved at club level?
Messi joined Barcelona’s youth academy when he was 13 and spent much of his professional career at the Catalan club.
He is Barcelona’s top scorer and has made the most appearances for the club, with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions.
Messi won 35 trophies at Barcelona, including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies, three UEFA Super Cups, seven Copa del Rey crowns, and three FIFA Club World Cups.
In 2021, Messi moved to the French club PSG, where he scored 23 goals and recorded 29 assists in 53 appearances. He won the Ligue 1 title with the club in the 2021-22 season and the French Super Cup in July 2022.
Lionel Messi in line to break all-time World Cup appearance record after Argentina beat Netherlands in semi-final
Lionel Messi is set to break the record for all-time World Cup appearances after featuring in Argentina’s penalty win over the Netherlands.
The quarter-final ended in a 2-2 draw after a late Dutch comeback, but Argentina advanced 4-3 on penalties to reach the final four. Messi provided a brilliant assist to Nahuel Molina for the opening goal, before converting a penalty himself.
This is the 35-year-old’s fifth World Cup, having made his first appearance at the tournament in 2006.
Tuesday’s semi-final against Croatia will be Messi’s 25th World Cup appearance, equalling German great Lothar Matthaus, who played in every tournament between 1982 and 1998.
He will break the record in the final, if Argentina beat Croatia, or in the third-place play-off if Argentina lose.
Previously, Messi came closest to winning the World Cup in 2014, when Argentina lost the final 1-0 to Germany after extra-time.
He has scored 10 goals across his 24 appearances so far, putting his joint-eighth in the all-time list.
Miroslav Klose holds the record with 16 goals in 24 appearances.
Cristiano Ronaldo will go to 22 appearances if he gets onto the pitch for Portugal against Morocco.
Lionel Messi 2006 World Cup goals
Lionel Messi has scored all his World Cup goals in the group stage matches, starting at the 2006 edition. He scored his first goal against Serbia and Montenegro in his second-ever appearance at the World Cup.
Messi appeared in just one knockout game at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, coming on in the 84th minute as a substitute against Mexico. He did not make an appearance in the quarter-final against Germany, which Argentina lost on penalties.
Lionel Messi 2010 World Cup goals
In 2010, Messi entered the tournament as the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, but could not score a single goal as Germany knocked Argentina out in the quarter-finals by a thumping 4-0 margin. He made just one assist in this edition, which came against Mexico in the pre quarter-finals.
Lionel Messi 2014 World Cup goals
Lionel Messi did not let fate repeat itself in the 2014 edition and emerged as the Golden Ball winner in Brazil 2014. The little magician was on fire in the group stages, scoring twice against Nigeria, one each against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran.
Argentina made it to the finals but the Germans, for the third time running, ended their dreams of lifting the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Messi went through the four knockout matches without scoring a goal.
Lionel Messi 2018 World Cup goals
Barring a crucial goal against Nigeria in a must-win group stage match, Lionel Messi once again left his scoring boots behind for four of the five games in the 2018 World Cup. He was also left flat-footed in a pulsating pre quarter-final clash against France, which finished 4-3 in favour of Didier Deschamps’ side.
Only three players from Argentina have scored more goals than Messi at World Cups. Gabriel Batistuta leads the charts with 10 goals in 12 matches, followed by Diego Maradona (eight goals in 21 matches) and Guillermo Stabile (eight goals in four matches).
Lionel Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo has also featured in four World Cups for Portugal, scoring just one goal more than the Argentine.
Lionel Messi 2022 World Cup goals
The Argentine struck in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scoring a penalty against Saudi Arabia. However, the South American side conceded twice in the second half to lose the match.
In the following match against Mexico, he rifled a left-footed strike past Guillermo Ochoa to help Argentina bag their first win of the campaign. He also netted one goal each in the Round of 16 and quarter-final against Australia and Netherlands, respectively. He scored a memorable brace in the final to help Argentina win their third world title.
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