Messi to surpass Maradona with new record for Argentina World Cup appearances

By Sports Desk November 30, 2022 529

Lionel Messi is set to break Diego Maradona's record of the most World Cup appearances for Argentina after being named in their starting XI against Poland.

The late, great Maradona played 21 games at World Cup tournaments and Wednesday's match at Stadium 974 will be Messi's 22nd on this stage.

But Messi will be hoping that is not the only way he can eclipse Maradona at the 2022 World Cup.

Argentina find themselves in a tricky position heading into the Group C encounter, with elimination a real possibility.

If La Albiceleste lose, they will be knocked out, while a draw may not be enough to take them through to the last 16 either.

Although regarded by many as the greatest player ever, Messi's legacy will forever be tinged by World Cup failure if he does not lift the trophy Maradona inspired his nation to in 1986.

On the other hand, success in Qatar would arguably see Messi conquer the final frontier of the "GOAT" debate.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni made subtle changes elsewhere in his starting XI, with Julian Alvarez coming in for Lautaro Martinez up top, while Lisandro Martinez was replaced at centre-back by the fit-again Cristian Romero.

Enzo Fernandez, scorer of a stunning clincher in the 2-0 win over Mexico last time out, was named among the midfielders, while Scaloni swapped out Gonzalo Montiel at right-back for Nahuel Molina.

Argentina will be looking to progress to the knockout stages for a 13th time in their last 14 World Cup appearances, with their only group stage elimination during this period coming in 2002.

Meanwhile, Messi is only two short of Gabriel Batistuta's record of the most World Cup goals scored for Argentina (10).

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Last modified on Wednesday, 30 November 2022 16:22
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