Lionel Messi and his World Cup history: A kryptonite named Germany

Lionel Messi is without a doubt one of the greatest footballers of all time. At the World Cup in Russia, the five-time world footballer will finally prove to everyone that he too can celebrate success internationally. SPOX looking back on the exceptional football player’s World Cup history.

Lionel Messi’s trophy collection is more than impressive: With FC Barcelona, ​​the Argentine was Spanish champion nine times, Spanish cup winner six times and Champions League winner four times – not to mention successes in the Super Cups and Fifa Club World Cups.

There are also five choices for the world footballer and three more for Europe’s footballer of the year. From 2009 to 2012 alone, the striker was a world footballer four times in a row. This list is rounded off by 16 top scorer titles in all tournaments, with the season with 50 goals in the 2011/12 Primera Division 2011 prominently mentioned in chronicles about Messi’s football work. The golden boot at a World Cup is missing from his collection.

At the last World Cup, Messi was closer than ever to his dream of a World Cup. However, it was ultimately the DFB team that prevented La Pulga from hitting the big one – and not for the first time.

Lionel Messi at the 2006 World Cup in Germany: The Wonder Child

In the days before Twitter, Facebook and Co., before 2006, Lionel Messi was only known by documented experts outside Spain. The 1.70-meter small, skinny 18-year-old was taken to the World Cup by coach Jose Pekerman as a “wild card” and gave his coach confidence back.

With Messi on the bench in Argentina’s first group game, La Pulga became Albiceleste’s youngest World Cup player ever, when he came on as a substitute against Serbia & Montenegro in the 74th minute and scored. The youngster only needed a few minutes to provide his first assist and then score his first World Cup goal to 6-0 in the final.

Pekerman rewarded these achievements with a starting eleven in the last group match against the Netherlands. A tired 0-0 draw was enough for the South Americans to advance to the quarterfinals against arch-enemy Mexico as the top of the group. Messi, now back from the bench, scored the supposed winner late in a hard-fought match but was just barely offside. Thanks to an absolute dream goal from Maxi Rodriguez, the quarterfinals continued.

The hosts Germany waited there, pushing Argentina to the extreme and eventually winning on penalties thanks to Lehmann’s legendary “cheat sheet”. The prodigy Messi, on the other hand, spent 120 minutes on the bench, which Coach-Pekerman was torn with in the local press.

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