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Messi closes in all-time goalscorer record

Messi equals Maradona's record and lands TWO others with goal in Mexico win

November 26, 2022 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The 35-year-old skipper was on target as his side secured their first win of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina talisman Lionel Messi is on the brink of becoming the South American country's all-time top goalscorer at the World Cup after hitting the target in their win over Mexico on Saturday night. The 35-year-old forward opened the scoring for Albiceleste in their 2-0 victory over El Tri, taking his tally at the mundial to eight and equalling Diego Maradona's haul in the process.

Following their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the Group C curtain-raiser, Argentina had their destiny in their hands as a defeat to Mexico would have resulted in their elimination from the competition. However, in what was a 'first final' for the tournament's favorites, they held their own to secure their first win of the tournament. 

Following a keenly contested first half, Argentina finally had their breakthrough in the second half through Lionel Messi. The Paris Saint-Germain attacker sent his side on course to victory by firing the ball into the net from outside the penalty box inside the 64th minute. Substitute Enzo Fernandez subsequently put the game to bed for the current Copa America holders by scoring their second of the night in the 87th minute.

Having taken his tally for the campaign to two in the process, Lionel Messi matched Diego Maradona's record of eight goals at the World Cup. The former Barcelona man is currently two goals short of equalling Gabriel Batistuta's record as the Albiceleste's all-time top goalscorer at the World Cup.

Additionally, Lionel Messi has now become both the youngest (18y 357d vs Serbia in 2006) and the oldest (35y 155d vs Mexico today) player to both score and assist in a single World Cup game since the start of the 1966 tournament. He has also scored four goals from outside the box in his World Cup career. Since the tournament's institution in 1966, Rivellino is the only player with more such goals in history.

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