Lionel Messi is one of the most successful players in history. While he isn’t considered one of the greatest scorers in history, he can certainly provide a fascinating look at how goals are scored and rewarded in World Cup history. In this article, we take you behind the scenes with some of Messi’s most memorable goals from his time as a player and his time as an international star. Read on to discover what legends are left unrewarded by Argentina and Spain, and why Lionel Messi has more goals than anyone else in world football.
Origins of Lionel Messi’s Goals
While many are familiar with Ramos’s goal that clinched the 2018 World Cup for Argentina, it was the goal that led to World Cup 2019 for Spain that truly captured the spotlight. On the night of the final, January 12, 2018, Messi became the first player in history to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. As an international star, he was also in attendance at the final and was waiting in the wings to join him in the box as he celebrated. The only other person to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final and make it to the fiery River Plate with the matching goal was Pele, who scored the only goal in the 1980 World Cup final against Brazil in Mexico.
Spain – Final Goal for a World Cup Double
This is perhaps the most famous goal of all time and a significant moment in European history. On their way to winning the 2018 World Cup, Spain faced France at the Parc des Princes in Paris. For the first time since 1930, a team from Spain would face a team from France in a World Cup final.1 The match was also the first time that Spain’s national team wore the red and white shirt of Barcelona, which had won the title for the previous four years. A goal from Messi, which he had been scoring for over two months, secured for Spain the first ever World Cup title. The game finished in a 2-2 draw, meaning that no-one would ever claim that Spain won the match.
Argentina – Tyson Barrow 2-0 Dream Goal
This was the first goal that inspired the whole world to dream of scoring a goal like this. On March 8, 1998, against Italy in Buenos Aires, Lionel Messi scored his first international goal. Since then, all his goals have been with Argentina, which he had helped to win the 1998 and 2018 World Cups. In the 1998 World Cup final against Italy, Messi was on the pitch for just over 10 minutes, which was a little underwhelming for a star player at the time. However, in the 2019 World Cup, he was in attendance for the entire match and celebrated on the pitch with the rest of the team after Diego Milito’s stoppage-time goal.
Germany – J Hammerl 3-2 One Touch of Genius
This goal was almost more impressive than the other goals on this list, as it was the first assist in World Cup history. On June 8, 2017, in their quarter-final match against France, Germany performed a one-touch of genius and scored the only goal of the game. Jüthermann Haerter was on the pitch for Germany that day and could not have scripted the goal’s ending any other way. Haerter was recovering from an knee injury and was playing a low position in the midfield when he was yanked out by the back leg and run over by a France player. Haerter, a midfielder by trade, was on the pitch for just over a minute and then got the goal.
England – Invitation to Euro 2016
Lionel Messi has made it to the world stage as an international star thanks to his goal for France against Spain in the 2017 World Cup final. However, his invitation to play in the Euro 2016 final was even more special. The game was held in France and will be remembered as one of the most successful games of all time. On July 17, 2016, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Stade de France in Paris, Lionel Messi, Diego Milito and company played their hearts out for Spain in the Euro 2016 final. The game was a hard-fought win for Spain who lost the match 1-0 after a tense final.
France – Lionel Messi on Nightcap
On June 18, 2018, Lionel Messi was on the side line for a tackle in the semi-final of the World Cup when he got the perfect opportunity to score the match-winning goal. Depoitre St. Michel was one of the most popular stadiums in Paris and a part of the city for over two decades, Depoitre St. Michel was also home to the 1976 and 1981 World Cup winners. It was a match that fans literally were waiting for. Messi was in the vicinity of the pitch when he was tackled and, because he was on the opposite field, there was no chance of him scoring from the resulting free kick.
Croatia – Dragan Staniupovic, Elite Player of the Year
The 2018 World Cup final was perhaps the most famous match between Croatia and Spain. The two teams met in Croatia on June 13, 2018, at thegrad clinching the 2018 World Cup for Croatia. The match was a hard-fought contest and, as expected, it was a nail-biter. Both teams were well-ridden in the match and, at times, it felt as if the score would be tied until the very end. The two teams squared off in a two-legged final, meaning that the winner would move on to the semi-finals where they would face either France or Sweden. It was a classic two-leg final and, in a match that became one of the most-watched matches of all time, Croatia managed to hold on to win the match 2-1 on aggregate.
Russia – Goal in Final of World Cup 2018
On the night of the final, June 11, 2018, in Moscow, Russia, Lionel Messi got the opportunity to celebrate his birthday with the most senior Russian sporting figure. Roman Guevara was playing for the KHL’s Lokomotiv Moscow and was in the crowd for the match. The match was a nail-biter and, depending on how you looked at it, a statistical fluke or a master stroke from the skipper. However, once again Guevara managed to score the goal that would secure Croatia the gold medal.
In this article, we take you behind the scenes with some of Lionel Messi’s most memorable goals from his time as a player and as an international star. In this section, you will learn about the goals that made an impact on the World Cup stage, the goals that were not so well received, and the goals that are talked about but never finished the game. Finally, we will end this article with the most famous goal of all time and the reasons it is still one of the most successful goals of all time. What do you think? What are your favourite Lionel Messi goals? Let us know in the comments section below!