Leo Messi will play his second World Cup final on Sunday, December 18, with a chance to lift the sport's most coveted trophy. The final gives the little magician from Argentina the chance to claim five more records for his enviable collection. Here is a look at what the boy from Rosario can achieve in Argentina versus France final.
The La Albiceleste have come a long way in the tournament since the shocking loss against Saudi Arabia in their tournament opener and captain Leo Messi has played a prominent role in the Argentian team bouncing back from the shock defeat. Now, Messi will play his second World Cup final on Sunday with a chance to lift the sport's most coveted trophy. He has already confirmed that Sunday's final at the Lusial Stadium will be his last World Cup game. Although Messi has many footballing records to his name, Sunday's final gives the little magician a chance to win the World Cup trophy and break five more before signing off from the World Cup stage. (Image: Reuters)
By playing the semi-final tie against Croatia, Lionel Messi equalled the record for the player to have appeared in the most FIFA World Cup matches. With 25 World Cup appearances, the Argentine superstar has drawn level with West Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus. On the day of the final, should Messi play, he will be the sole holder of the record. (Images: Reuters)
Italy's Paolo Maldini holds the record of playing the most number of minutes in the history of FIFA World Cups. The legendary Italian played a total of 2,217 minutes in all his World Cup appearances. Lionel Messi has played 2,194 minutes in FIFA World Cup. Should Messi play beyond 23 minutes in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022, he will surpass the Italian to become the player with the most clocked minutes in the history of the FIFA World Cup. (Images: Reuters)
Retired Brazilian striker Ronaldo Nazário de Lima has the record for most goal contributions in different World Cup matches, 13. Messi came at par with Ronaldo with his first goal against Croatia in the semi-final. Should Messi score in the final on Sunday, he will surpass Ronaldo to claim the record of scoring or assisting in the most different number of FIFA World Cup matches. (Images: Reuters)
Messi (11 goals, 8 assists) has the most goal involvements in a World Cup (since 1966), joining Miroslav Klose (16 goals, 3 assists), Ronaldo Nazario (15 goals, 4 assists), and Gerd Müller (14 goals, 5 assists). Should Messi score or assist in the final he will leave behind the three legends of the game in a flash to claim the record of the player with the most goal involvements in the history of FIFA World Cups.
With 18 victories apiece, Germany's Miroslav Klose and the Argentine hold the joint record of being the players with the most World Cup wins. Should Messi play the final and Argentina emerges victorious, Messi, with 19 World Cup wins will become the player with the most World Cup match wins. (Images: Reuters)