Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi, who played the 1,000th game of his career on Saturday, has gone past Diego Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo in scoring the most goals in FIFA World Cups.
In the match against Australia in the pre-quarterfinal clash, Messi scored one goal - his ninth overall in World Cups - and led Argentina in their World Cup last 16 clashes. Moreover, this was also the first time that Messi scored a goal in the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cups.
As per the current standings in the FIFA World Cup 2022’s Golden Boot - which is awarded to the player with the most goals in the tournament - Messi stands in second place with three goals in four matches. Spain’s Alvaro Morata holds the top place in the competition for Golden Boot, with 3 goals in three matches.
Messi also won his eighth Man of the Match award in World Cups and surpassed Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seven trophies in the quadrennial showpiece. Messi also overtook Ronaldo on yet another front with his ninth overall World Cup goal, going past Ronaldo’s eight. This is one more than Diego Maradona.
Diego Maradona played for Argentina between 1977 to 1994 and scored 34 goals. Messi, who is playing his fifth World Cup, has stated that this will be his last, making it all the more important for him to win the trophy if he is to match the legacy of Maradona.
In the 35th minute of the match against Australia, Messi curled a shot past keeper Mat Ryan, marking his third goal in Qatar so far. The 35-year-old Messi, who is already Argentina's all-time top scorer with 94 goals, was making his 169th appearance for his nation.
With this, Messi also became Barcelona's top scorer with 672 goals in 778 games. However, he moved to Paris St Germain last year. In total, he has scored 789 career goals. Julian Alvarez doubled Argentina's lead in the 57th minute and confirmed their win against Australia in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Post-game, Messi in a media interaction mentioned this particular achievement and said that he is grateful for it. “I am very happy for taking another step forward, achieving another objective," Messi said.
“It was a very strong and difficult match — we knew it was going to be this way. We didn’t have much time to rest up and we were concerned as we knew it was going to be a physical match and they were very strong," he added.
Argentina will now face the Netherlands in their quarterfinal clash on Saturday, December 10th.
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