LIONEL MESSI is on the verge of making history at the World Cup this weekend.
But nobody could have predicted how things would turn out after Messi’s disastrous Argentina debut 17 years ago.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina debut did not go to plan in 2005Twitter / @TyCSports
The legend was sent off just 40 seconds after coming onTwitter / @TyCSports
That’s because the legendary forward was sent off after just 40 SECONDS.
And in doing so, the 35-year-old will overtake Germany’s Lothar Matthaus for the most World Cup appearances in history.
Several other records are in danger of being broken on Sunday too, including most World Cup wins as a player and most World Cup assists.
But Messi’s stunning international record was the last thing on people’s minds when he made his Argentina debut 17 years ago.
The then-Barcelona starlet was just 18 years old when Jose Pekermen selected him for the senior side in 2005.
Messi’s chance to shine came on 17 August when Argentina played Hungary in a friendly in Budapest.
With 63 minutes on the clock, the forward was brought off the bench in place of Lisandro Lopez.
GettyMessi could now make history with Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup final against France[/caption]
And Messi immediately got stuck in just moments after his side took a 2-1 lead through Gabriel Heinze.
However, Messi managed to be a bit too enthusiastic on the ball.
As he dribbled towards Hungary’s goal only 40 seconds after joining the action, the teen was grabbed by opponent Vilms Vanczak.
This prompted Messi to swing out an arm, which hit Vanczak before sending him to the ground.
Players from both sides swarmed the referee as replays showed there wasn’t an awful lot of contact involved.
But this was pre-VAR days, meaning the ref did not get a chance to see the incident himself.
And after deciding it was a deliberate violent act from Messi, the official brandished a red card for the now-Paris Saint-Germain star.
It was reported that team-mates found Messi “weeping” in the changing room after the game.
But he certainly hasn’t looked back, going on to clock up 194 appearances for Argentina since then.
Messi has also scored 112 goals for his country and helped them break their Copa America duck with victory in last year’s competition.
Messi is now hoping to add a historic World Cup to his collection, in what the legend has already declared will be his last tournament game for Argentina.