Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers in the modern era, turned 34 today. The Argentine superstar is the country’s all-time highest goal scorer. He has the joint-most number of international caps for La Albiceleste with former FC Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano.
Read More: Politics And Sports Are Inseparable
Messi has scored 73 international goals for Argentina in 147 matches. In the ongoing Copa America in Brazil, Messi has scored one goal and provided one assist in the first three matches of the group stage for his national team.
Messi has a huge fan base worldwide with his unmatched skills on the ground- both for his national team and Barcelona. Messi has won record 34 titles with Barcelona, including 10 La Liga, 4 UEFA Champions League, 7 Copa del Rey, and 3 Club World Cups. He also recorded over 1000 combined goals and assists under his name. The superstar also has six Ballon d’Or and six golden shoes, amongst many other honours under his custody.
Here are Messi’s top five performances for his national team in international football.
1 First World Cup goal (2006)
The first-ever World Cup goal was against Serbia and Montenegro in the 2006 World Cup.
In this match, Messi came as a 75th-minute substitute replacing Maxi Rodriguez and three minutes he provided the assist for Hernan Crespo’s goal. Then in the 88th-minute, he scored the sixth goal for the.
2 First international hat-trick (2012)
Messi’s first-ever hat-trick for the national team was against Switzerland in an international friendly in Bern, Switzerland, in 2012.
3 Performance against Nigeria in 2014 World Cup
Argentina vs Nigeria match in 2014 World Cup had seen one of the finest world cup performances of Messi.
Though Argentina had secured a round of 16 berths, they needed a point to qualify as group toppers. Messi led the battle, and Argentina won the match against Nigeria for 3-2.
4 Hat-trick against Brazil (2012)
Brazil vs Argentina matches in international football always produces some classic encounters.
In 2012 in a friendly tie in the USA, Lionel Messi turned to be the Messiah of his national team with a brilliant hat-trick and led the team to victory for 4-3
5 Hat-trick against Ecuador (2017)
Messi’s hat-trick against Ecuador in a 2018 World Cup qualifying game took Argentina to World Cup. Defying the huge possibility of Argentina not making it to the finals after 48 years, Messi led the team to secure a world cup slot.