Updated:Mar 24, 2023 1:36 pm
World Cup champions Argentina beat Panama last night, in their first game since the triumph in Qatar.
The headlines were however stolen by their captain Lionel Messi, who scored his 800th career goal at a senior level.
The Ballon d’Or holder scored an 89th minute free-kick at the Monumental de Nunez Stadium in Buenos Aires to pass this landmark.
After the game, at a ceremony to celebrate the World Cup win, Messi said, “I always dreamed of this moment, to celebrate with you in my country Argentina,
“Let’s keep doing what we are doing and enjoy this, because we have been waiting a long time to win it again. Let’s enjoy the third star.”
The 35-year-old becomes just the second player to reach 800, after his long-term rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s tally includes 672 goals for Barcelona and 29 for Paris Saint Germain, along with his 99 international goals including two in the final of the World Cup.
One of the greatest of all time has the opportunity to surpass another landmark on Tuesday, as Argentina face Curacao.Embed from Getty Images
It is just the latest milestone in a long list which is the extraordinary career of Messi, four Champions Leagues, 10 La Liga titles, the Copa America and a World Cup winner’s medal. Along with this, Messi has won the coveted Ballon d’Or seven times, the only major competition Messi has yet to win is the French Cup.
With such a complete career, many might question what more Messi has to achieve and whether the end of his career is near.
Messi should pass 900 club appearances next season, and will likely have the record for goals in mens international games in his view, currently 20 behind Ronaldo, he has some work to do.