Stadium 974 in Ras Aboud will witness a titanic clash between table toppers Poland and world number three Argentina on Thursday.
The two sides would need to be at their imperious best as both risk losing out on a potential round of 16 spot in case of a lacklustre performance. It is a must-not-lose affair for Argentina while a draw doesn’t necessarily guarantee them a knock-out berth either. The Poles are better off as a draw will see them through but a loss coupled with a Saudi win will shatter their maiden World Cup dreams.
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However, the match will also be keenly watched as it features a marquee clash between ace strikers Lionel Messi of La Albiceleste and Pole Robert Lewandowski. Here we have a comparative look at the careers of the two professionals.
Total career goals:
Robert Lewandowski has scored 621 goals in 831 matches at a strike rate of 74.7 goals per 100 matches.
Lionel Messi has scored 788 goals in 998 matches at a strike rate of 78.9 goals per 100 matches.
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National team goals:
Robert Lewandowski has scored 77 goals for Poland in 136 appearances at a strike rate of 56.6 goals per 100 matches.
Lionel Messi has scored 93 goals for Argentina in 167 matches at a strike rate of 55.6 goals per 100 matches.
Ballon d’Or Awards:
Robert Lewandowski was widely believed to have been the hot favorite to win the award in 2020. However, the Awards were cancelled due to Covid-19. The following year he came behind Messi in second place.
Lionel Messi stands atop the list of maximum number of Ballon d’Or winners, having won seven times while he was nominated 15 times.
National league Awards:
Messi has been a part of 10 league winning teams in a league career spanning 18 years.
UEFA Champions League awards:
In his league career of 14 years, Lewandowski was part of the Bayern Munich side that won the UEFA Champions league in 2019-20.
Messi was part of 4 Barcelona teams that won the Champions league in 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2014-15 in a league career spanning 18 years so far.