Lionel Messi during the debut against Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium.  Photo: Fernando de la Orden / Special Envoy - Clarín

The man from Rosario became the only Argentine to play five World Cups and the seventh to be present in five competitions. Now Mexico is coming, next Saturday.

Lionel Messi assured in the press conference that he gave on Monday before the game with Saudi Arabia that surely this will be his last World Cup. At the age of 35, the man from Rosario is still a machine for accumulating records and in his debut in Qatar he took two and is on his way to conquering a few more, despite the fact that nothing can take away the sadness of defeat.

Until Russia 2018, Leo, Diego Maradona and Javier Mascherano They were the only three players to be present at four World Cup events. Now, the Argentine captain is the only one to participate in five. Against the Saudis he reached 20 games and on Saturday against Mexico he will equal Diego, who with 21 is the Argentine with the most World Cup matches.




Lionel Messi during the debut against Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium. Photo: Fernando de la Orden / Special Envoy – Clarín

The Mexican Antonio Carbajal He was the first to be present in that number of competitions, between 1950 and 1966, a total of 11 matches. Then the German Lothar Matthaeus He reached the same number between 1982 and 1998, but completed 25 games, making him the player with the most appearances in history.

In Brazil 2014 the goalkeeper joined Gianluigi Buffon, who was present for the first time in France 98, although he went to the bank and did not play any game. He then started 14 games between 2002 and 2014. Meanwhile, in Russia 2018, the Mexican Raphael Marquez he also reached five since 2002, with 19 games in total.

Besides Messi, this will be the fifth World Cup for the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (17 games, 7 goals), the Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoawho made a bench in 2006 and 2010 and started in 2014 and 2018 (8 games in total), and Andrés Guardado, also from Aztec, who did not enter the debut against Poland.

The concern on Messi's face after the defeat against Saudi Arabia.  Photo: Fernando de la Orden / Special Envoy - Clarín


The concern on Messi’s face after the defeat against Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fernando de la Orden / Special Envoy – Clarín

With the penalty goal that he converted at the start of the game, Messi reached the 7 conquests In the World Cup, he left behind Matador Mario Alberto Kempes, who scored 6 all in the 78 World Cup, and was one away from equaling Guillermo Stábile (8 in 1930) and Diego Maradona (8 between 1982 and 1994). Meanwhile, Gabriel Batistuta with 10 is still the Argentine with the most goals in World Cups.

But also, he became the fifth player to score goals in 4 different World Cups. Until now only the Brazilian had achieved it PeleGermans Uwe Seeler Y Miroslav Klose and the portuguese Cristiano Ronaldothe only one in a position to score in five.

The Argentine star has 92 goals in 166 games with the light blue and white, seven in 20 World Cup matches and for now, at 35, he is the second oldest goalscorer in World Cups, behind Martin Palermo (36 years and 7 months), and the fourth oldest to play, after Angel Labruna (39 years and 8 months), Wilfredo Caballero (36 years and 8 months) and ‘Loco’ himself (36 years and 7 months).

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