LIONEL MESSI broke FOUR records during Argentina’s World Cup semi-final victory over Croatia.
The South American, 35, produced another remarkable display as he scored one and assisted one to hand his country a 3-0 victory and book them a place in Sunday’s final against Morocco or France.
APLionel Messi scored the opener from the penalty spot against Croatia[/caption]
APHe was once again the star of the show for his country[/caption]
And while a World Cup triumph remains the only goal he truly cares about in Qatar, the little magician is still continuing to break other records along the way.
FOUR of those were achieved in the victory over Croatia, including becoming Argentina’s record scorer at the World Cup.
The first-half spot kick moves him clear of Gabriel Batistuta on 11 goals.
He also now holds the record for most assists by an Argentine at the World Cup.
A third record comes in the wake of him scoring and assisting against the Croats.
It means he has now scored and assisted in four World Cup games – the first ever player to do so.
And the final record is that Messi is now the ALL-TIME record appearance maker at the World Cup.
He came into the tournament with 20 appearances to his name, but now has 26 having played in every game on the way to the final.
It means he has eclipsed the previous record of 25 which was held by German Lothar Matthaus.
Messi had already set a new record in Qatar before the Croatia game when he became Argentina‘s record appearance maker at the World Cup.
Maradona had 21, but Messi needed just the Saudi Arabia and Mexico games to overtake him.
There is one final record Messi would have had half an eye on coming to Qatar – even though there was a very slim chance of him breaking it.
His five goals in Qatar mean he now has 11 at the World Cup, but he is still five behind the competition’s all-time top scorer, Miroslav Klose, who has 16.
And with just one game remaining for Messi at the 2022 edition, it means he needs SIX in the final to break the German’s record.
Speaking ahead of the Qatar tournament, he said: “It’s probably my last World Cup. I always felt good and comfortable, especially when I played a lot until the start of the World Cup.
“I didn’t do anything special, I took care of myself like my whole career.
“It will surely be my last World Cup and my last opportunity to achieve this great dream of winning the tournament.”