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The World Cup records Messi owns

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FIFA+ spotlights the FIFA World Cup records belonging to Lionel Messi and the ones he is pursuing.

  • Lionel Messi owns several World Cup records
  • They involve appearances, assists and goals
  • Messi is also close to a Miroslav Klose milestone

Messi is one of only six men to have played in five World Cups alongside Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, Andres Guardado and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi made his 26th World Cup appearance in the Qatar 2022 final, breaking Lothar Matthaus’s record.

Argentina: Messi breaks FIFA World Cup appearance record

With 26 appearances at the FIFA World Cup™, Lionel Messi has now surpassed Lothar Matthaus’ record of 25 appearances at the competition.

Messi has made a record 19 appearances as captain in the World Cup. He is followed by Rafa Marquez (17) and Diego Maradona (16). Messi has played the most minutes in World Cup history: 2,314. He broke Paolo Maldini’s record of 2,217 minutes in the Qatar 2022 final.

Italy s Paolo Maldini challenges Romario of Brazil at USA 1994 - The World Cup records Messi owns

Messi is the only player to register an assist in five World Cups. His closest challengers are Pele, Grzegorz Lato, Diego Maradona and David Beckham, who set up goals in three editions apiece. Pele and Messi share the record for the most assists in the knockout phase (6). Messi is Argentina’s leading marksmen in the World Cup on 13 goals. He is followed by Gabriel Batistuta (10), Diego Maradona (8), Guillermo Stabile (8), Mario Kempes (6) and Gonzalo Higuain (5).

Argentina: Messi surpasses Batistuta’s World Cup record

Watch as Lionel surpasses Gabrielle Batistuta’s record of ten FIFA World Cup™ goals with his penalty against Croatia.

Messi is the only player to score in the World Cup in his teens, 20s and 30s. Pele missed out on accomplishing the same by four months. Messi scored his first and latest World Cup goals 16 years and 184 days apart. The next biggest span in World Cup history belongs to Cristiano Ronaldo at 16 years and 160 days.

Lionel Messi at the 2006 World Cup - The World Cup records Messi owns

The Player of the Match, first awarded in 2002, has been given to Messi an unequalled 11 times. His four at Brazil 2014 is a record for one edition he shares with Wesley Sneijder, who received the same at South Africa 2010. Miroslav Klose has played in a record 17 World Cup victories. Messi is currently on 16.

Watch on FIFA+

Messi to the Rescue | Remix (Brazil 2014) Lionel Messi | Golden Ball Award (Brazil 2014) Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia | Highlights Argentina 2-0 Mexico | Highlights Poland 0-2 Argentina | Highlights Argentina 2-1 Australia | Highlights Netherlands 2-2 Argentina (3-4 PSO) | Highlights Messi’s reaction to Martinez’s winning penalty All Messi’s World Cup goals

First published in FIFA.

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