The World Cup records Messi owns and is chasing

FIFA+ spotlights the FIFA World Cup records belonging to Lionel Messi and the ones he is pursuing.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 09:  Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring in the penalty shoot out during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • Lionel Messi owns several World Cup records

  • They involve appearances, assists and goals

  • Messi is also chasing a Miroslav Klose milestone

    Messi is one of only six men to have played in five World Cups alongside Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, Andres Guardado and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Lothar Matthaus and Messi share the record for the most World Cup appearances (25). ‘La Pulga Atomica’ will take the outright lead if he appears in the final.

    Messi has made a record 18 appearances as captain in the World Cup. He is followed by Rafa Marquez (17) and Diego Maradona (16).

    Paolo Maldini has played the most minute in World Cup history: 2,217. Messi is on 2,194 and could surpass the Italian in the Qatar 2022 final.

    Messi is the only player to register an assist in five World Cups. His closest challengers are Pele, Grzegorz Lato, Diego Maradona and David Beckham, who set up goals in three editions apiece. Pele and Messi share the record for the most assists in the knockout phase (6). Messi is Argentina’s joint-leading marksmen in the World Cup on 11 goals. He is followed by Gabriel Batistuta (10), Diego Maradona (8), Guillermo Stabile (8), Mario Kempes (6) and Gonzalo Higuain (5).

    Messi is the only player to score in the World Cup in his teens, 20s and 30s. Pele missed out on accomplishing the same by four months.

    Messi scored his first and latest World Cup goals 16 years and 180 days apart. The next biggest span in World Cup history belongs to Cristiano Ronaldo at 16 years and 160 days.

    The Player of the Match, first awarded in 2002, has been given to Messi an unequalled 10 times. His four at Brazil 2014 is a record for one edition he shares with Wesley Sneijder, who received the same at South Africa 2010. Miroslav Klose has played in 17 World Cup victories. Messi is currently on 16.