World Cup 2022: An exclusive club, a premiere and a Maradona record: Memorable game for Lionel Messi

Even if Argentina lived up to their role as favorites against Australia in the round of 16 of the World Cup and apart from the final phase did not allow much against the "Socceroos", it was a memorable evening for Lionel Messi.

World Cup 2022: An exclusive club, a premiere and a Maradona record: Memorable game for Lionel Messi

Even if Argentina lived up to their role as favorites against Australia in the round of 16 of the World Cup and apart from the final phase did not allow much against the "Socceroos", it was a memorable evening for Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old has now arrived in the 1000 club. Messi played the 1000th game of his professional football career at Al-Rajjan's Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar on Saturday. The forward captained the Argentina national team against Australia.

It was Messi's 23rd World Cup game and he is now level with ex-Italian professional Paolo Maldini. Lothar Matthäus holds the record with 25 World Cup games, followed by Miroslav Klose with 24. The Argentinian played the 169th international match of his career against the "Socceroos". There are also 778 games for FC Barcelona and 53 games for Paris Saint-Germain since his move last summer. Messi made his professional debut on October 16, 2004 in a city duel at Espanyol Barcelona (1-0), when he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute.

In addition to the remarkable anniversary, the six-time world footballer also celebrated a premiere and thus overtook Diego Maradona. His goal to make it 1-0 in the 35th minute was also his first goal in the knockout stages of a World Cup and his ninth goal overall at a World Cup. Diego Maradona had scored eight goals in his career. Messi had scored a goal in his first World Cup appearance in 2006, but he was not yet a regular in Germany at the time.

He failed to score in South Africa in 2010 under then-coach Maradona. In 2014, when Argentina lost to Germany in the final, he scored four times. A goal was added in Russia in 2018. He has scored three times in Qatar so far.

Note: An earlier version of the text stated that Diego Maradona was Argentina's record goalscorer at the World Cup. This is not correct. We corrected the mistake.

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