Batistuta backs Messi to beat Argentina World Cup goals record against Croatia

By Sports Desk December 10, 2022 615

Gabriel Batistuta hopes Lionel Messi can overtake him and become Argentina's record World Cup goalscorer in La Albiceleste's semi-final with Croatia.

Lionel Scaloni's side secured Argentina's fourth last-four appearance since 1986 – a tally only bettered by Germany (six) during that time – after defeating the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw on Friday.

Argentina have won more shoot-outs than any other side in World Cup history (five), with their sole defeat coming against Germany in the 2006 quarter-finals.

Messi was on target from the spot during normal time with his 10th goal at the finals, equalling Batistuta's long-standing record for their national team.

Former Fiorentina and Roma striker Batistuta, who remains the only player to score a hat-trick in two different World Cups (1994 and 1998), saluted his compatriot and hopes Messi can add more goals to his tally.

"Dear Leo, congratulations!" Batistuta posted on Instagram. "I had the record for 20 years and enjoyed it. Now it's a great honour and pleasure to share it with you and I hope wholeheartedly that you can overtake it in the next match."

Argentina face Croatia at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday in what will be the third World Cup meeting between the nations. Argentina won 1-0 in the 1998 group phase, while Croatia prevailed 3-0 at the same stage in Russia four years ago.

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Last modified on Saturday, 10 December 2022 12:15
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