Lionel Messi is accustomed to breaking records, but even by his own standards, Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal against Croatia was impressive.
Argentina advanced to the World Cup final on Sunday after a 3-0 victory over Croatia.
The 35-year-old scored Argentina’s first goal from the penalty spot before assisting his team’s third, and Julián lvarez’s second, with a brilliant individual skill that sent Croatia defender Joko Gvardiol spinning.
Messi set his first record of the night as soon as the game began, tying Lothar Matthäus for the most career men’s World Cup appearances. Unless something truly unexpected happens, Messi will own that record on Sunday.
His penalty to open the scoring against Croatia was his 11th career World Cup goal, surpassing Argentina’s top all-time scorer at a World Cup, Gabriel Batistuta.
But that wasn’t all; Messi also set or tied five other records on the night.