Messi Achieves Unprecedented Scoring Feat in International Football

Messi Achieves Unprecedented Scoring Feat in International Football

Lionel Messi has notched an astonishing 25 goals in his last 17 international matches. This remarkable achievement is unparalleled in the last five decades of football history.

In fact, only 11 players in the annals of the sport have managed to register 25 goals in fewer appearances for their national teams.

These football legends include Bep Bakhuys, Ernst Wilimowski, Just Fontaine, Kunishige Kamamoto, Sandor Kocsis, Gerd Muller, Ferenc Puskas, Steve Bloomer, Gunnar Nordahl, Sven Rydell, and Tist Nielsen.

With 31 goals in 63 appearances, Messi has become the all-time top scorer in South American FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers, surpassing his former Barcelona teammate, Luis Suarez, who boasts 29 goals in 62 appearances. Messi’s next target is the legendary Carlos Ruiz from Guatemala, who holds the record with 39 goals, spanning all regions.

Notably, Messi, Joaquin Botero, and Alexis Sanchez share the South American record for the most multiple-goal games in World Cup qualifying, each with five to their name.

In a feat of international stadium domination, Messi has found the net in an astounding 13 different South American qualifying stadiums for the World Cup. His closest pursuers, Neymar and Luis Suarez, have achieved 12 and 11 goals in these venues, respectively. Messi aims to extend his tally when facing Brazil at the iconic Maracana Stadium in Round 6.

With a remarkable 106 international goals, Messi stands head and shoulders above his South American peers, outscoring Neymar by 27 goals. Only Ali Daei (109) and Cristiano Ronaldo (127) surpass Messi in international goal-scoring prowess.

Messi’s World Cup debut in 2006, at the age of 18 years and 358 days, was nothing short of spectacular. He set up a goal for Hernan Crespo just three minutes after taking the field and found the back of the net himself 10 minutes later, making him the sixth-youngest scorer in World Cup history.

In an elite group of football greats, Messi is one of only six players to have participated in five World Cup tournaments, sharing this distinction with Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, Andres Guardado, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Furthermore, Messi is the sole player to have scored in the World Cup during his teenage, twenties, and thirties. This achievement eluded the legendary Pele by a mere four months.

Another astonishing record in Messi’s name is the distinction of registering assists in five World Cup tournaments, with Pele, Grzegorz Lato, Diego Maradona, and David Beckham trailing with assists in three editions each. Additionally, he shares the record for the most assists in the knockout phase with Pele, both having six to their credit.

At the Qatar 2022 final, Messi made his 26th World Cup appearance, breaking Lothar Matthaus’s previous record.

Being a consistent leader, Messi has made a record 19 appearances as captain in the World Cup, followed by Rafa Marquez (17) and Diego Maradona (16).

Only five individuals have captained their teams in two World Cup finals, with Messi joining the ranks of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Diego Maradona, Dunga, and Hugo Lloris.

Messi’s World Cup journey spans 16 years and 184 days, with his first and latest World Cup goals falling within this remarkable timeframe, an achievement second only to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 16 years and 160 days.

Unsurprisingly, Messi has played the most minutes in World Cup history, accumulating an impressive 2,314 minutes and surpassing Paolo Maldini’s previous record of 2,217 minutes, achieved in the Qatar 2022 final.

In the annals of Argentina’s World Cup history, Messi reigns supreme with 13 goals, followed by Gabriel Batistuta (10), Diego Maradona (8), Guillermo Stabile (8), Mario Kempes (6), and Gonzalo Higuain (5).

Moreover, Messi has been recognized as the Player of the Match an unmatched 11 times in World Cup competitions, a feat he shares with Wesley Sneijder, who achieved the same at South Africa 2010.

As he continues to chase the ultimate record, Miroslav Klose’s record of 17 World Cup victories, Messi stands at 16 victories and is undoubtedly a contender for further glory.

Lastly, Messi’s incredible goal-scoring abilities have been on full display as he set the record for the most goals scored in a calendar year for Argentina, with an astonishing 18 goals in 14 appearances in 2022. The next closest achievement is Messi’s 12 goals in nine games in 2012, along with Gabriel Batistuta’s 12 goals in 1998.