Lionel Messi will undoubtedly go down as one of the greats and he could further solidify his already stellar reputation by breaking these World Cup records.
Argentina are currently being tipped as one of the favourites in what looks to be a wide-open tournament.
The reigning Copa America champions are on a fine run of form coming into this year’s competition and it might finally be the year that Messi gets his hands on the trophy.
We’ve looked through the World Cup records and picked out seven which he could feasibly break in Qatar this year.
Golden Ball awards
It was heartbreak for Messi in 2014 as he made it all the way to the final, only to narrowly lose out to Germany in the final.
He had a superb individual campaign though and won the 2014 Golden Ball for his contribution. In the history of the World Cup, no player has ever won two Golden Balls.
Both he and Luka Modric, the 2018 winner, have the chance to break this record in Qatar.
A lesson in how not to melt under pressure 🚫 pic.twitter.com/dghajebHRc
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Appearances for Argentina
He’s definitely going to break this one.
Diego Maradona currently holds the record for the most appearances at the World Cup for Argentina. Messi is currently on 19 World Cup appearances for Argentina, while Maradona’s record stands at 21.
Along with breaking the Argentine record for appearances, Messi also has the chance to go clear with the most outright appearances in World Cup history.
Germany’s Lothar Matthaus holds the record as things stand with 25 caps in the competition.
As this is the case, Argentina will need to go deep into the tournament for Messi to break the record as he is six caps away from levelling the tally as things stand.
Playing in five World Cups
Messi won’t be alone in levelling this impressive record.
Both he and Cristiano Ronaldo will level the record to have played in five World Cup tournaments. Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus and Rafael Marquez are the only players to have achieved this so far.
READ: Comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s records at major tournaments
This one will take some doing, but Messi of all players is capable of doing it.
Pele currently holds the record for the most assists in World Cup history with 10 to his name. Messi’s World Cup assist tally currently stands at five.
The 35-year-old has been in exceptional form this season though and has provided 14 assists for PSG alone during the 2022-23 campaign.
If anyone can do it, it’s Messi.
Goals for Argentina
He will also need to have his shooting boots on to beat this record.
Gabriel Batistuta is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup history with 10 goals across three tournaments. Messi’s World Cup goal tally is six goals as things stand.
Along with holding the record for the most goals in World Cup history, Miroslav Klose also holds the record for the most wins.
The German forward has won 17 World Cup matches, which Messi has the chance to surpass.
Messi’s win tally currently stands at 12 and so Argentina will need to go far in order for him to break this record.
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