Lionel Messi, for many the greatest footballer in history, has finally got his hands on the FIFA World Cup™ trophy – and following one of the finest individual campaigns in the competition’s history. The 35-year-old provided seven goals and three assists, and broke multiple records, as Argentina conquered the sport for the first time in 32 years.
Messi is one of only six men to have played in five World Cups alongside Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, Andres Guardado and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi made his 26th World Cup appearance in the Qatar 2022 final, breaking Lothar Matthaus’s record.
Messi has made a record 19 appearances as captain in the World Cup. He is followed by Rafa Marquez (17) and Diego Maradona (16). Paolo Maldini has played the most minute in World Cup history: 2,217. Messi began the Qatar 2022 final on 2,194.
Messi is the only player to register an assist in five World Cups. His closest challengers are Pele, Grzegorz Lato, Diego Maradona and David Beckham, who set up goals in three editions apiece. Pele and Messi share the record for the most assists in the knockout phase (6). Messi is Argentina’s joint-leading marksmen in the World Cup on 12 goals. He is followed by Gabriel Batistuta (10), Diego Maradona (8), Guillermo Stabile (8), Mario Kempes (6) and Gonzalo Higuain (5).