Lionel Messi to make his 1,000th career appearance: Key stats
Football superstar Lionel Messi is set to mark his 1,000th career appearance. The 35-year-old will unlock the feat in Argentina's R16 fixture against Australia on Sunday (12:30 AM IST) in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Messi is enjoying a sensational run of form, including a goal and an assist each in Argentina's 2-0 thrashing of Mexico in the group stage. We decode his stats.
Why does this story matter?
- Messi will earn his 169th cap on top of 778 games for La Liga giants FC Barcelona and 53 matches for Paris Saint-Germain.
- The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner will look to make the experience a memorable one.
- Messi, who is likely playing his last World Cup, will be keen to make a difference versus Australia and help his side go far in the tourney.
Messi's performance at the World Cup
Messi made his WC debut in 2006. He has since netted eight goals across 22 appearances. Besides, he owns six assists. Against Mexico in the 2022 edition, Messi became the only player to assist in five different World Cups (also in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018). In the same fixture, he became the oldest player to both score and assist in a WC game.
Third-highest scorer in men's international football
Messi completed a brace in Argentina's 3-0 win over Jamaica in a friendly game in September. The feat saw him pip Malaysia's Mokhtar Dahari (89) to become the third-highest goal scorer at the international level. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (118) and Ali Daei (109) rank above him in this regard. Messi (93) is one of the seven players with over 80 goals in international football.
Messi eyes these distinguishable records
Messi (22) will equal former Italy defender Paolo Maldini (23) in terms of joint-third-most appearances in the World Cup. Messi has eight goals in the World Cup, joint-second-most for Argentina alongside Diego Maradona. He can break a tie here. He can also pip Argentina's all-time scorer in the tournament Gabriel Batistuta (10). Messi (6) can also break Maradona's assist record (8) in the tournament.
A look at Messi's career achievements
With Barcelona, Messi won 10 La Liga honors, seven Copa del Reys, seven Spanish Super Cups, four UEFA Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. Messi has so far won the Ligue 1 and Trophee des Champions with the French giants. With Argentina, Messi won the 2021 Copa America. He has also won the 2022 Finalissima.
Messi's club career in numbers
Messi made his senior debut for Barca in 2004. He went to feature in 778 games for the club across competitions. He recorded 672 goals and 303 assists in the same. Messi made a move to PSG in 2021. He has since featured in 53 matches for the Parisians in all competitions, registering 23 goals and 28 assists.
Argentina to face Australia in R16 fixture
Argentina finished atop group C, comprising Poland, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. Argentina suffered a 1-2 defeat in their opening game but bounced back with a sensational 2-0 win over Mexico and later Poland to steer through. The two-time winners netted five goals and conceded twice. Argentina will be squaring off against Group D runners-up, Australia, who fetched two wins and a loss.