Lionel Messi extended his appearance record in the colours of Argentina after he led outhis team during the World Cup 2022 qualifier against Paraguay.
New Paris Saint Germain (PSG) signing Messi was able to take his appearance tally to 154 against the Paraguayans thus moving seven ahead of the previous record holder, Javier Mascherano. Retired Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano made 147 appearances for his nation before announcing his retirement.
Javier Mascherano retired from international football shortly after Argentina lost to Germany in the final at the 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. PSV Eindhoven attacker Mario Gotze scored the all-important goal in extra time as Germany beat Argentina 1-0.
Messi was one of the best players on the pitch during the World Cup qualifier between his Argentina side and hosts Paraguay but it was not enough to secure the three points for his team as the two teams played out a goalless draw. The little magician created a lot of chances for his teammates but they lacked the required cutting edge in front of goal.Joaquin Correa and Angel Di Maria were wasteful in front of goal as Argentina lost grounds on Brazil at the top of the South American standings as far as the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament is concerned.
Brazil are now eight points clear of Argentina after the draw with Paraguay in Asuncion. The five-time world champions didn't have things their own way as they had to come from behind to beat hosts Venezuela. The Brazilians scored all their goals in the second half courtesy Paris Saint Germain (PSG)defender Marquinhos, Gabriel Barbosa (spot kick) and Antony.
The Brazilians have won all their nine games in the qualifiers and have 27 points as a result, while Argentina are on 19 points after a record of five wins and four draws.