Argentina vs Australia FIFA World Cup: What records can Messi break in RO16? | Football News – SportsMediaz

It is turning out to be an exciting football festival for fans as the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has thrown us some surprising results. Everyone witnessed Japan defeat Spain to qualify for the Round of 16 and also knock out Group E opponents Germany. Meanwhile, South Korea bagged a stunning 2-1 win vs Portugal to knock out Group H side Uruguay. Although there have been plenty of surprises, PSG star Lionel Messi has lived up to his potential in the ongoing tournament, which could also be his last World Cup. Although, he missed a penalty in the must-win final Group C fixture against Poland, he was a talismanic presence throughout the game as Argentina clinched a 2-0 victory at the Stadium 974.

The Argentina captain scored his side’s sole goal in the opening 1-2 defeat vs Saudi Arabia and then came to the rescue in their next fixture against Mexico. With the score level at 0-0 in half-time, Messi scored a virtuoso long-range screamer in the 64th-minute to give his side a 1-0 lead, and then followed it up with an assist to Enzo Fernandez, who made it 2-0 in the 87th-minute.

Also Read | Messi misses penalty but Argentina beat Poland in style

Against Poland, he appeared in his 22nd match at a World Cup, overtaking the late Diego Maradona for his country in this tournament. The 1986 World Cup winner played 21 times for Argentina. His assist to Fernandez in the win vs Mexico made him also the first player to assist at five separate men’s World Cup tournaments.

During the match vs Mexico, the 35-year-old also became both the youngest and oldest player to score and assist in a single World CUp fixture in competition’s history. He had earlier done so vs Serbia in 2006 when he was 18-years-old.

Although he has broken plenty of records, there are still others he might still bag. The current appearances record at the World Cup belongs to former Germany star Lothar Matthaus (25). To equal that tally, Messi will atleast need to lead Argentina to the semi-final. If he does so, he would be breaking that record in the final. Meanwhile, Maradona led Argentina in the World Cup 16 times and Saturday’s scheduled Round of 16 fixture vs Australia will see Messi captain Argentina for the 14th time in this competition. A semi-final appearance will see him get past Maradona and he could make it 17 in the final.

Gabriel Batistuta is currently Argentina’s leading goal-scorer in World Cups with 10 goals. Messi has eight to his name, and three more will see him set another record. Also, Maradona has the most assists with eight, but Messi has six and could also break that record. The Argentine genius will be aiming to put in a captain-like performance in the Round of 16 clash vs Australia, scheduled to be held at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

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