Lionel Messi has broken the record for the most games with the Argentine National Team by taking the field in his country for the 148th time against Bolivia in the Copa América. Messi beat Javier Mascherano’s record of 147 games for the nation.
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 29, 2021
MEMORABLE 148 ° OF MESSI
A man of great occasions, Messi seemed determined to mark this auspicious day with a majestic performance. Unfortunately for Bolivia, they were to be at the opposite extreme.
In a resounding 4-1 victory over Bolivia, Lionel Messi scored two goals and set one up as he ran the Bolivians across the field. In some respects, Messi’s riveting performance on this record day was a summary of the man himself.
Papu Gomez received a sumptuous dinked ball in the sixth minute that Gomez poised to use to give Argentina the lead. The pass seemed barely credible when Messi encountered Gomez while spinning in a crowded space.
A 🔟 magic touch! Lionel Messi 🐐 assisting how only he can do it for Papu Gómez’s goal 🇦🇷
– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 29, 2021
From then on, it was the spectacle of Lionel Messi when he scored a penalty with the goalkeeper nailed to the point. He completed his brace with his trademark effortless elegance as he ran clean towards goal before casually lifting the ball over the rushing goalkeeper to give Argentina an impregnable 3-0 lead before halftime. The 4-1 victory confirmed Argentina’s top position in the group as a team, with Messi on his figurehead gazing up the only mountain climb that has eluded Messi for his entire career.
ELUSIVE INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
Despite now having the double honor of being Argentina’s record holder for appearances and record scorer, Messi’s relationship with Argentina has been full of ups and downs. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to bring a large international trophy back to his homeland have even led to international retirement at various points.
– FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 14, 2014
However, with Argentina’s machine purring and humming this Copa América, expertly led by Messi showing no signs of letting the opposition slip away, this again is seen as Messi’s best chance when it comes to landing an international trophy.
With the number of records the little wizard has broken over the course of his brilliant career, it is unlikely that he would pay too much attention to the records. Still, the element of this being to his national team would certainly mean a little more to him.
It could be assumed that while personal records would be welcome, Messi has his sights set on this Copa América as his last frontier. If the Argentine keeps doing his thing, this could be the year Argentina finally gets over the hump.