Lionel Messi has reached an astonishing milestone of 1,000 professional matches. This figure includes club and international fixtures for Barcelona and Argentina respectively.
There is no question that, when it comes to soccer, Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. He has been breaking records and winning championships since he was a teenager, showing time and again why he deserves to be considered one of history’s greatest athletes.
Lionel Messi has announced that he will not celebrate his 1,000th professional match milestone, which he reached on Saturday in Argentina’s FIFA World Cup victory over Australia. In a post-match interview, the superstar stated that his overriding emotion was relief at having come through a physical test just 48 hours after their last group stage match.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi beat Australia with a skillfully constructed goal in the opening period. Then, in the second half, Julian Alvarez doubled the advantage. However, Argentina was forced to cling on in the dying moments of the game as Australia came dangerously close to tying the score.
After advancing to the knockout stage by virtue of a victory against Poland in their final encounter of the group stage, this match took place just two days after that victory.
Messi was once again in tremendous form and was awarded Player of the Match for his performance. But Messi is not acknowledging this particular accomplishment, despite the fact that he has reached yet another career milestone and surpassed Diego Maradona’s record of eight goals scored in the World Cup.
Instead, he is simply ecstatic about the fact that he was able to complete a physical test so quickly after their most recent game.
“I am very happy for taking another step forward, achieving another objective,” Messi said post match.
“It was very strong and difficult match – we knew it was going to be this way. We didn’t have much time to rest up and we were concerned as we knew it was going to be a physical match and they were very strong.”
When asked by Argentine TV if he planned to celebrate playing his 1,000th match, Messi responded, “No, truly no. This was a tough game, tough game, we didn’t have much rest, we had not really recovered well. It was a very physical game as well.
“When we found out we had to play again in three days, we said it was crazy and not enough rest, but at the same time we wanted to be here for what it feels like and for what this represents and for our fans.”
Graham Arnold, the coach of Australia, remarked that his team did a good job of containing Lionel Messi, although in the end, Messi’s class shone through.
“He’s incredible,” Arnold said. “One of the greatest ever. We really worked hard not to be in awe of him, because of the great player he is. But wow. He’s remarkable.
“I had the privilege of playing against Diego Maradona, and now coaching against Messi – they’re both wonderful players and Argentina should be proud and happy to have players of that caliber.”
They will now be focusing on their quarterfinal match against the Netherlands on December 9 in Qatar 2022.
“Today we saw their match [against the United States],” Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni said.
“Probably they don’t play as beautifully as previous Dutch teams – but they have strong points, and weaknesses we will try to use. It will be a beautiful game with two historic national teams. We hope we’ll qualify.”
Argentina will be monitoring the status of many key players in the days building up to their match against the Dutch. While Papu Gomez’s ankle injury against Australia was a setback, the squad is hopeful that Angel di Maria’s quad injury will heal quickly so that he can return to action.