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Argentine forward Lionel Messi has made 19 appearances in the FIFA World Cup spread across four editions and scored seven times for the Albicelestes. He also recorded five assists in the world’s biggest football tournament. 

The former Barcelona man, who has over 750 goals in professional football to his credit, has a terrific record playing for his national side, scoring 90 times in 164 matches. But when it comes to the World Cup that comes once in four years, he has not been on par with his legendary status. 

Lionel Messi 2006 World Cup goals

Lionel Messi has scored all his World Cup goals in the group stage matches, starting at the 2006 edition. He scored his first goal against Serbia and Montenegro in his second-ever appearance at the World Cup. 

Messi appeared in just one knockout game at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, coming on in the 84th minute as a substitute against Mexico. He did not make an appearance in the quarter-final against Germany, which Argentina lost on penalties. 

Lionel Messi 2010 World Cup goals

In 2010, Messi entered the tournament as the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, but could not score a single goal as Germany knocked Argentina out in the quarter-finals by a thumping 4-0 margin. He made just one assist in this edition, which came against Mexico in the pre quarter-finals. 

Lionel Messi 2014 World Cup goals

Lionel Messi did not let fate repeat itself in the 2014 edition and emerged as the Golden Ball winner in Brazil 2014. The little magician was on fire in the group stages, scoring twice against Nigeria, one each against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. 

Argentina made it to the finals but the Germans, for the third time running, ended their dreams of lifting the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Messi went through the four knockout matches without scoring a goal. 

Lionel Messi 2018 World Cup goals 

Barring a crucial goal against Nigeria in a must-win group stage match, Lionel Messi once again left his scoring boots behind for four of the five games in the 2018 World Cup. He was also left flat-footed in a pulsating pre quarter-final clash against France, which finished 4-3 in favour of Didier Deschamps’ side. 

Only three players from Argentina have scored more goals than Messi at World Cups. Gabriel Batistuta leads the charts with 10 goals in 12 matches, followed by Diego Maradona (eight goals in 21 matches) and Guillermo Stabile (eight goals in four matches).

Lionel Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo has also featured in four World Cups for Portugal, scoring just one goal more than the Argentine.

Lionel Messi 2022 World Cup goals

The Argentine struck in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scoring a penalty against Saudi Arabia. However, the South American side conceded twice in the second half to lose the match.

In the following match against Mexico, he rifled a left-footed strike past Guillermo Ochoa to help Argentina bag their first win of the campaign.

Here’s a look at the goals scored by Lionel Messi at World Cups. 

Lionel Messi World Cup goals 

Goal No.

Opponent

FIFA World Cup

Match

1

Serbia and Montenegro

Germany 2006

Group stage

2

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil 2014

Group stage

3

Iran

Brazil 2014

Group stage

4

Nigeria

Brazil 2014

Group stage

5

Nigeria

Brazil 2014

Group stage

6

Nigeria

Russia 2018

Group stage

7

Saudi Arabia

Qatar 2022

Group stage

8

Mexico

Qatar 2022

Group stage

 

Featured photo: AFP / Mauro Pimentel

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