·25 September 2022
·25 September 2022
In the early hours of Saturday morning UK time, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar scored twice in a 3-0 win for his country.
Messi’s first was a cooly-taken penalty and the second was a moment of pure genius. The 35-year-old magician chipped Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez from around 30 yards out and he couldn’t have executed the finish any better.
Messi has now bagged 88 goals for Argentina, which makes him the fourth-highest scorer in the history of international football.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 117 goals), Ali Daei (Iran, 109 goals) and Mokhtar Dahari (Malaysia, 89 goals) sit ahead of him.
Messi’s record on international duty is quite something and there’s a key department in which he’s outperformed Ronaldo as well.
No, we’re not talking about assists, although he is superior in that regard too. The Argentine has recorded 51 of them, while his eternal rival’s tally stands at 42.
Instead, we’re talking about Messi’s prolificacy against the 10 nations ranked highest by FIFA.
No player in the 21st century has scored more goals against those countries, which include Argentina, Portugal, England, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Uruguay.
The folks over at PopFoot have worked out all the numbers and it’s Messi who sits atop the tree.
Let’s run through the 12 players with the most goals versus FIFA’s top 10 since the turn of the millenium…
12. Karim Benzema (France) – 7 goals
11. Arjen Robben (Netherlands) – 8 goals
=9. Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – 9 goals
=9. Antoine Griezmann (France) – 9 goals
=7. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) – 10 goals
=7. Neymar (Brazil) – 10 goals
6. Eduardo Vargas (Chile) – 11 goals
=4. Alexis Sanchez (Chile) – 12 goals
=4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) – 12 goals
3. Thomas Muller (Germany) – 13 goals
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 14 goals
So, Messi is clear by two, with around 20% of his 88 goals on international duty coming against FIFA’s top 10 ranked nations.
Five of them were scored against Brazil, while six came in meetings with Uruguay.
The European nations to feel the wrath of Messi’s goalscoring prowess are Spain, Germany, France and Portugal.
Will Messi add to his tally against FIFA’s top 10 at the Qatar World Cup later this year? The form he’s in right now, you’d be a fool to bet against it happening.
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