Six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi has set a new national record in Argentina’s 4-1 thumping over Bolivia in the 2021 edition of the Copa America in Brazil.
Just a few days ago, the Argentina captain equalled Javier Mascherano’s record of 147 appearances for La Albiceleste, the Barcelona star is now the stand-alone man with the most appearance for the South American side with 148 caps for Argentina.
Messi capped his 148th appearance for the national team in grand style, by scoring a brace in the victory, while Alejandro “Papu” Gomez and Lautaro Martinez also got on the scoresheet to help Argentina remain top of the table.
The 34-year-old made his debut for Argentina five days after his 17th birthday, on 29th June 2004, in an 8-0 thumping of Paraguay, where he scored a goal and provided two assists, before leading them to win the FIFA Youth Championship in 2005.
He made his debut for the first team against Hungary as a second half substitute, only to be sent off after two minutes for hitting an opponent in the face with an elbow. He was named the captain of the national team in 2011, but the then coach Alejandro Sabella.
Messi is not just the player with the most appearances for the national team, he is also the highest goal scorer of all time for La Albiceleste with 75 goals in his 148 games, 21 goals more than Gabriel Batistuta, who is in second.