FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi plays
1000th match, 2nd Argentine since Javier Zannetti to achieve feat

Also read: Watch: Aziz Behich confronts Lionel Messi during Argentina vs Australia in FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16

Argentina’s round of 16 encounter with Australia in the FIFA
World Cup 2022
will mark Lionel Messi’s 1000th career match. However,
Messi is not the first Argentine to achieve the feat, with former player Javier
Zanneti being the first person to do so.

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Lionel Messi’s 1000th professional match comes
after 18 years after his debut for Barcelona and 17 since his first match for
his home country. However, defender Javier Zanneti, who played professional
football from 1992-2014, was the first ever Argentine footballer to achieve the
rare distinction.

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On May 11, 2011, Zanetti played in his 1000th
match as a professional footballer, when he played for Inter Milan against A S
Roma in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final.

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World number three Argentina, who lost their round of 16
encounter to France four years ago in the World Cup in Russia, were looking to
improve on that record and set up a quarter-final clash with Netherlands. They
started on the right note when Messi scored a brilliant goal after 35 minutes
of play to bring up Argentina’s first goal of the day. Messi’s goal, his ninth
in the World Cup was also his first in the knockout stages of the tournament.

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Argentina built on the momentum and scored another goal to
go 2-0 ahead of Australia. Despite a spirited fightback from the socceroos,
Albicelestes held on and won 2-1.

Also read: Argentina qualifies for 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals after win over Australia

Argentina next faces Netherlands in the quarter-final on
December 10 at 12.30 am IST. With skipper Messi having said that this could be
his last World Cup, Argentina are hoping for a third title. Despite a shock
defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first encounter of the tournament, Argentina
have found the lost rhythm and will look forward to their contest with the