Lionel Messi’s place in football history is already well assured, however, some Argentineans still feel he needs to win a World Cup in order to be an icon on the level of Diego Maradona.
Of course, winning the competition will be the aim for Messi and co. in Qatar, but it is worth noting as well that the No.10 could also beat a couple of Maradona‘s World Cup records.
Most games with Argentina
Maradona currently holds the record for most World Cup games with Argentina with 21 appearances on football’s greatest stage. Messi only needs three to surpass that total.
Barring a disaster – i.e. injury or suspension – Messi will become the Argentine with most World Cup appearances in history in the group stage in Qatar.
Record number of assists
Maradona also holds Argentina’s record for most assists at the World Cup with eight, including five at the triumphant 1986 edition of the tournament. Messi is currently on five.
It would be no surprise if Messi smashes that record in Qatar as well. He arrives at the World Cup in good form and just ask Neymar or Kylian Mbappe how good his assists are.
Most goals at the World Cup
In terms of goals, this record is not Maradona‘s but belongs instead to Gabriel Batistuta with 10 World Cup goals for the Albiceleste. Messi is on six, while Maradona finished with eight.
This record might be the hardest for Messi to claim, but if Argentina are to go all the way, it’s hard to imagine them doing it without their star man chipping in with several goals.
Maradona‘s record should be within his grasp, but Batistuta‘s may prove elusive.
With this World Cup Messi‘s fifth and likely to be his last, it is his final chance to write another chapter in Argentine World Cup history and push himself further up the list of record holders.