Lionel Messi is set to make his 1000th senior career appearance when he stars in Argentina’s Round of 16 clash against Australia at the FIFA World Cup tonight (Saturday, December 3).
The legendary playmaker garnered an impressive 778 appearances for Barcelona and has made 53 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain so far. With 168 caps under his belt for Argentina, the forward has racked up a total of 999 appearances.
When he faces Australia in Qatar, it will be his 169th senior cap for La Albiceleste. His first appearance on the international stage came in 2005, and the playmaker is still going strong, having racked up a solid 93 goals for his national team.
Now aged 35, the forward has built an impressive career with a record-breaking seven Ballon d’Or awards, alongside numerous trophies, including four UEFA Champions League titles, with Barcelona. He has also managed remarkable feats with Argentina, having guided them to a Copa America trophy.
Argentina’s FIFA World Cup clash against Australia is a must-win for Messi, as the diminutive magician would not want to mark his 1000th game with a loss and a subsequent elimination. Now in the knockout stages in Qatar, Lionel Messi will hope he can make it all the way to the final and garner 1,003 caps while securing the World Cup trophy that has long eluded him.
The last time Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in 1986, Messi wasn’t even born. However, they are seen as massive contenders to win this edition, and the forward will hope he can come through for his team when it matters the most.