Messi surpasses Maradona & Batistuta in Argentina history books after 2022 World Cup opener vs Saudi Arabia
- Messi faces Saudi Arabia
- Scores opening goal
- Makes more history for Argentina
WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina captain opened the scoring for his team in their first game of the Qatar tournament against Saudi Arabia. Messi scored from the penalty spot after Tottenham’s Cristian Romero was brought down in the penalty area and a spot-kick was awarded after a VAR check.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi’s goal means he has become the first player to score in four World Cups with Argentina (in 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022). The Paris Saint-Germain star has overtaken Argentine legends Diego Maradona (1982, 1986 and 1994) and Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998 and 2002), who only managed to score in three tournaments.
DID YOU KNOW? Argentina have become the first team in World Cup history to have four players over the age of 34 in their starting lineup, with Messi, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel Di María and Papu Gomez all making Lionel Scaloni’s XI.
IN THREE PHOTOS: