All of the World Cup records that Lionel Messi has broken with Argentina

It seems as if every time he plays, Lionel Messi is approaching, equalling or surpassing one record or another. Through selective sampling, that can happen often. However the list of statistics headed by Messi following the 2022 World Cup is remarkable.

Sport have listed all of the records that Messi broke with Argentina in Qatar. What stands out beyond all else is not just his effectiveness, but at this point the remarkable longevity of the Albiceleste number 10.

1. Most World Cup appearances – 26. Ahead of Lothar Matthaus (25) and Miroslav Klose (24).

2. Most Assists – 9. Ahead of one Diego Maradona (8) and Pierre Litbarski (7).

3. The only player to score at each stage of the World Cup since the 32-team format came into place. Messi scored in all five rounds.

4. Messi is the player to have played the most minutes in the World Cup (2,314), surpassing Paolo Maldini’s 2,217.

5. Messi is the only player to provide assists at every World Cup;

6. Messi is the only Argentine footballer to score goals in four different World Cups.

7. The player to captain the most games for his team at World Cup. Taking the armband in 2011, Messi has captained 18 Argentina games at the World Cup.

8. Messi has the most direct goal contributions in World Cup history (22), 13 goals and 9 assists.

9. Messi is the youngest player to play in five tournaments at 35 years of age.

10. Messi has the most player of the match awards. His 11 awards mean he has won it in 42% of the World Cup matches he has played in.

11. No player has scored two World Cup goals further apart in time. Messi’s first goal against Serbia and Montenegro (June 16, 2006) and his last against France (December 18, 2022), were 16 years, 6 months and 3 days apart.

12. Messi is the oldest footballer to score and assist in the same World Cup match (35 years, 5 months and 19 days).

One of the things that has elevated Messi in the minds of many is that he is so much more than statistics though. While topping the charts for many metrics, it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the performance that you see on the pitch.

Always taking responsibility for his team’s creative output, Messi provides a highlight reel outside of the box almost every game.


Image via Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Tags 2022 World Cup Argentina Barcelona Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain World Cup

1 Comment

  1. Easy to win world cup when you get a penalty in 71% of games.

    Hgh gnome was picked to win this WC.

    Can anyone explain why VAR didnt brought to referees attention that Arg players were on the pitch before 3-2 was scored in extra time and broke the rule of “there cant be more than 11 players on pitch”? Trivial rule sure, but im quoting this author; when Asensio had a ridiculous penalty blewn against him – “rules are rules”, and play should have been stopped. So, writer, explain that one?

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