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Lionel Messi and the records of Maradona and Pelé that is played in the Qatar 2022 semifinal

He doesn’t look for them, but he finds them. They are on their way to glory. Lionel Messi and the records are as compatible as his game with his goals and assists. And the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is no exception to the rule. In the Argentina vs. Croatia In the semifinals of the World Cup, the Albiceleste captain has the chance to break several records and equal or surpass legends in football history.

With the responsibility, the ambition and the determination to conquer the only trophy that is missing from his exalted record, and that all of Argentina has been demanding from him for decades as the successor of Diego Armando Maradona; but with a series of marks along the way that we will detail below.

Since his debut in Germany in 2006 against Serbia and Montenegro, Leo has accumulated 24 World Cup appearances, 25 if we count the match against Croatia, which is why he reached the German Lothar Matthaus as the player with the most appearances in a World Cup. The Argentinian will surpass the European legend in the next duel, either in the grand final or in the match for third place. That as long as he is not penalized or suffers an injury, something that has not happened to him so far. In fact, the ’10 ′ has only been booked twice in the five world championships he played.

Following the match item, Messi can equal a record from another German: Miroslav Klose. The one who is still the top scorer in the history of the championship (16, one above Ronaldo), is also the man with the most wins: 17 in total. Lionel is 15; that is, he needs to be champion to reach it.

All that number of record matches obviously translates into minutes of play. In that aspect, the Argentine has Paolo Maldini ahead of him. The legendary Italian defender adds 2,217 minutes played in the World Cups, while Messi accumulates 2,104. If the semifinal against Croatia goes to extra time, and Messi plays the full game, he could claim this record as well.

Messi, the captain of the world cups

It was Diego Armando Maradona who gave him the ribbon for the first time in a World Cup. In the third game of the group stage in South Africa 2010, with Argentina already qualified, Pelusa wanted to leave Lionel Messi on the bench, but the forward, with more plea than order, told him that he wanted to play, that he did not want to look at the game from outside “Well, ok… Now you’re going to be the captain!” Diego challenged him.

Since then, Messi has worn the captain’s ribbon 18 times (always counting the semi-final against Croatia, which is still at stake). Therefore, he has just surpassed Rafael Márquez by one, although the case of the Mexican is particular. And it is that the center-back is told the two games that he took the tape to replace Andrés Guardado in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Behind Leo are Maradona (16), the Italian Dino Zoff (14), the French Hugo Lloris (14) -he will surely continue adding with his team- and Cristiano Ronaldo (14).

Cristiano started Portugal’s first games in Qatar 2022, but in the last one, for the round of 16, he was replaced by Goncalo Ramos, the ‘9’ from Benfica who dazzled the world with an incredible hat-trick.

On the hunt for Maradona and Pelé

In terms of goals, Lionel Messi (10) is far from the 16 scored by Miroslav Klose. Although he is one away from being the highest scoring Argentine in the World Cups, surpassing Gabriel Omar Batistuta. “I hope with all my heart that you can beat them in the next game”, was the message from ‘Batigol’ for Leo.

But not only that, Messi with seven assists in the five World Cup events he played, is one away from reaching Diego Armando Maradona, his idol. Pelusa is the top assister in the World Cups, although five of his assists were in Mexico 86, but the most remembered was the one he gave to Claudio Caniggia for the round of 16 of the Italy 90 World Cup against Brazil.

Diego Armando Maradona was sent off in Argentina vs.  Brazil of the World Cup Spain 82.

In addition, according to the official FIFA website, Leo is also one away from having more assists in the knockout stages of the World Cup. Who rules in this exclusive ranking? Nothing less than Pelé, the three-time world champion.

The match against Croatia could once again bring Lionel Messi closer to glory. But it can also be the perfect setting for him to continue breaking records and continue to grow his legend, if he still can.

He is considered by FIFA the best player of the 20th century.  Here in the 70 World Cup.


Source: Elcomercio

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