Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is potentially on track to hit an impressive milestone at this winter’s World Cup and set a new record in the process.
Lionel Messi enjoyed a highly successful international break with four goals in two games as Argentina beat Honduras and Jamaica. Making his two-goal performance against the latter even more impressive is that the Paris Saint-Germain star only featured for 34 minutes in the friendly.
It means that the 35-year-old is in the best possible form on the international stage heading into the World Cup in Qatar. While he led Argentina to the 2021 Copa America, Lionel Messi is still looking for his first World Cup title, having been a runner-up in 2014.
Argentina have a slight advantage over their European rivals for the trophy, with the South Americans able to play a warm-up game against the UAE before the tournament kicks off. That means they could play eight matches in total this winter, if they go all the way to the final.
Messi will be eyeing those games as a major opportunity to reach the impressive milestone of 100 international goals. Following his four strikes over the past week, Messi has now scored 90 times for Argentina since making his debut in 2005.
It would be no surprise to see the attacker add the 10 goals he needs to his tally in the potential eight games he could play in November and December. Only two players in football history have scored more goals than Lionel Messi on the international stage, both notching over 100.
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The first is legendary Iranian striker Ali Daei, who struck 109 times in 148 games for his country. The other is Messi’s bitter rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has so far scored 117 goals in his 191 caps for Portugal.
It is not the only milestone that Messi is chasing this winter, with Argentina needing to avoid defeat in their opening two games to break the international record for the longest unbeaten run. Lionel Scaloni’s side have gone 36 matches without defeat, with Italy currently holding the record at 37 games.
There has been some suggestion that Messi may opt to retire from international football for a second time following the World Cup, regardless of Argentina’s performance. And Scaloni compared him to tennis great Roger Federer as he insisted those thoughts should be put to one side.
“He is like Federer. He retired and what happened when he retired? Everybody [was] excited, everybody is thinking, ‘he won’t be here anymore, he’s not going to play anymore’. How many of us would like to see Federer play tennis?” Scaloni said.
“Because it was wonderful to watch him play. The same will happen with [Lionel Messi] and more, because football is a sport that moves much more. So, let’s enjoy him. Everyone enjoys him regardless of the country, it’s wonderful to see him.
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