That he is not a leader, they said. That he wears the captain’s ribbon only because of the weight of his last name, they criticized. That he will never be like Maradona -of course he won’t be, he doesn’t have to-, they affirmed. But Lionel Messi He responded again on the field of play. Because he doesn’t need to shout to be a football leader. Because he doesn’t need to be “the genius of world soccer” to carry his team on his shoulders and disrupt a very difficult match against Mexico with genius. Because if Argentina can’t find its football, Leo solves it. And so it came, from his left foot from outside the area, the first for the victory by 2 to 0 that accommodates the Albiceleste in group C of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
From the outset, the match against the Central Americans was memorable for the ’10’. In the Lusail stadium, built specifically for the World Cup -and for him-, The man from Rosario equaled Diego Maradona as the man with the most World Cup matches in the history of the Argentine team: 21 for each one. A record that will surely be broken against Poland this Wednesday for the third date of the contest in which their pass to the round of 16 will be played. Leo never, in the five World Cup tournaments that he played, stayed in the group stage. Never.
But not only did he equal Diego in number of matches, but also in goals. In fact, he got his eighth World Cup celebration in 21 games, the same number it took for Pelusa to reach that figure. The current ’10’ and the eternal ’10’ will always be tied. At 64′, after receiving a pass near the edge of the area, Messi finished off a left-footed cross to beat Memo Ochoa’s goal and put the first of the match that seemed to be on the way to goalless equality due to how closed and frictional it was.
Twenty-three minutes later, Lionel attended Enzo Fernandez so that he scored a great goal and put him as one of the heroes of this Argentine team that never stops dreaming of being world champion for the third time in its history after having won the Copa América, even though there was a bump in the debut in Qatar against Saudi Arabia.
Messi is about to match his best start in a World Cup. At the moment, his path is being identical to that of Brazil 2014, an edition in which he scored four goals, all in the group stage: one in his debut, another on date 2 and a double on the last day. His steps in Qatar are being the same, although adding an assist to Pérez. With this, the PSG crack put one of the scorers of the contest, the French kylian mbappe and the Ecuadorian Enner Valencia.
But his magical night -late for Peruvians- does not end there. In addition, he achieved the absolute record of being the only human being in history to give assists in five different World Cups. The ball must always go to ’10’, to the crack.
And to put the icing on the cake, the man from Rosario surpassed -or rather, resumed- an incredible record that he had Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese had taken it from him last Friday with a penalty goal. However, the left-handed Messi he brought the brand back into his possession. What is it about? We’ll tell you then.
The Messi of yesterday and today: an incredible record
In 2006 the then technical director of Argentina, Jose Pekermanopened the door to the first World Cup for Lionel Messi. Long hair and 18 years old, the man from Rosario at that time had already made his debut in the Sub 20 and in Olympic Argentina, but he still did not have great experience to win the title of the albiceleste.
In fact, he made his debut in the second match of the group stage of that World Cup against Serbia and Montenegro. It was a game that turned out to be pure formality. Leo entered after 74 minutes with the score 3-0 in favor, and it took him just 12 minutes to score his first goal in a World Cup. What cost Lewandowski five games, cost him just a dozen minutes.
At the moment he introduced the ball into the rival goal, after assistance from Carlos Tévez,
This generated that he has an incredible World Cup record. That of the footballer who has the longest gap between his first and last goal: 16 years and five months and 12 days. A mark that he had before, but that Cristiano Ronaldo had snatched from him in Portugal’s victory over Ghana in which he scored a penalty. CR7 has a span of 16 years, five months and 8 days.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.