Lionel Messi, the leading forward for PSG at the club level and Argentina in international competitions, is coming off playing his 1,000th competitive game in all tournaments.
Messi started the Round of 16 game played yesterday in the World Cup leading Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Australia. Argentina is now on to the quarter-finals where they'll meet the Netherlands next Friday.
The Argentine genius debuted professionally with Barcelona in October 2004. He's played 18 yeras and counting of profesional football, splitting those between Barcelona and Paris, where he's spent the last year and a half since joining PSG in the summer of 2021.
Messi has been involved in more goals than matches he's played to date. No, that's not a typo. Messi has scored 789 goals and assisted 338 more for a total tally of 1,127. Nobody in the history of world football has ever reached those marks, and his closest competitor is not even close.
In the few months Messi has spent in Paris, the Argentine has been involved in 36 goals appearing in only 27 matches. That 1.40 goals-per-match pace is his best since the 2011-12 season, more than 10 years ago at his (then assumed, now known to be never-ending) peak in Barcelona.
Lionel Messi has broken multiple club-level and overall records, he can top different World Cup leaderboards this month
In the World Cup tournament alone, Messi is coming off scoring his first knockout-stage goal ever in the history of the competition. It was his third goal in the 2022 edition fof the World Cup and his ninth-overall goal for Argentina in a World Cup.
Only Miroslav Klose (24) and Lothar Matthaus (25) have appeared in more World Cup games than Messi (23). A run through the final would see Messi top that leaderboard. With this being Messi's last World Cup, you can almost count on that happening.
Keeping it to Argentine players, only Gabriel Batistuta (10) has more goals in World Cups than Messi (9), another record bound to follow through the next two weeks.