With 24 matches played in the men’s World Cup final going into this year’s semi-finals, Messi needs to make just two more appearances in Qatar to become the most-capped player in the tournament’s history.
As and when Messi takes to the pitch for Tuesday’s semi-final CroatiaWill equal the career record of the 34-year-old forward Germany The great Lothar Matthäus, who played 25 World Cup matches for his country. Win or lose against Croatia, Messi will then almost certainly break Matthaus’ record in Qatar when he reaches either Saturday’s third-place playoff at the Khalifa International Stadium or Sunday’s final at the Lucal Iconic Stadium.
Matthäus’ World Cup record stood for 24 years, as he made his 25th and final appearance for Germany in France ’98 where, coincidentally, die manshaft They were defeated by Croatia at the quarter-final stage. A mainstay of midfield and defence, first for West Germany and then for the reunified nation of Germany, Matthäus’ 25 appearances came in five World Cup finals between 1982 and 1998.
it was when he used to play inter Milanon either side of his two mantras Bayern Munich, that Matthäus won the World Cup for West Germany in Italia ’90 as their captain. Later that year, he won the Ballon d’Or, and the following year he became the first player to be named FIFA World Player of the Year. Although Messi’s combined number of Ballon d’Or and FIFA awards is nine and counting, that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Matthaus was one of the greatest players of his generation and the worthy holder of the appearance record for so long.
Men’s World Cup all-time appearance list
Ahead of the Qatar 2022 semi-finals, Messi can already claim to have played in more men’s World Cup finals (24) than any other active player. Cristiano Ronaldo (22 games) Next among his contemporaries on the overall list.
Messi is joint second with Miroslav Klose as the tournament’s all-time top goal scorer, having scored 16 goals in 24 appearances across four World Cups, including a complete victory in 2014.
Messi and Klose are both a game above Italian legend Paolo Maldini, who has played 23 times Italy In the finals however never actually managed to win the trophy – finished as runners-up Azuri Earlier in 1994 after securing a bronze medal in 1990. Maldini retired from international football after the 2002 tournament, but was still playing for the team. AC Milan When Italy became world champion in 2006.
Messi became the holder of the Argentina national team’s record for most World Cup appearances during the 2022 tournament, surpassing his idol Diego Maradona. Maradona, who made his country proud in 1986, represented Albiceleste on 21 occasions in the World Cup – a tally surpassed by Messi when he played against poland in their final group stage game.
Women’s World Cup appearance record
Messi still has some way to go if he wants to surpass the all-time record in FIFA World Cups.
really, Paris Saint Germain The star will have to play till 2030 if he wants to even equal the record Brazil Midfielder Formiga, who represented his country in seven finals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019).
Messi will need to appear in at least one more World Cup if he wants to equal the all-time Women’s World Cup appearance-record holder with Kristine Lille. United States of america Played 30 games in five finals appearances between 1991 and 2007.
Lilly also won the World Cup twice with the USWNT, in 1991 and 1999, and earned bronze medals in 1995, 2003 and 2007 – more podium finishes than any other player in history.