In his 1000th career match, skipper Lionel Messi scored Argentina’s first goal in the round of 16 match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Australia on December 3. 

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Why Andre Ayew did not play for Ghana in second half vs Uruguay

After dribbling the ball from deep in the right corner, Messi passed the ball towards the center, repositioned himself while the ball came back, and scored the goal that went through the hapless Australian defenders and goalie Mathew Ryan.

  Messi’s goal in his landmark 1000th game also brought down a record with it as he overtook the late Diego Maradona and Guillermo Stabille to become the country’s second highest goal scorer in World Cups with 9 goals, behind Gabriel Batistuta (10).

Also read: Who is Denzel Dumfries?

The goal was widely celebrated with several players and celebrities tweeting on it. British journalist Piers Morgan tweeted, congratulating the Albicelestes player for his goal.

While another user cited Messi’s goal contributions to highlight his genius in the context of his long 1000-match career.

With 285 points separating the World number three from Latin America and the Aussies who are ranked 38 in the World, Argentina started the match as the clear favorites by rating. However with several premier sides having suffered upsets at the ongoing World Cup, including Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia, the rankings have proven to be illusory.

Also read: Watch: Qatar’s Khalifa Stadium lights up in tribute to Pele as he is moved to palliative care

In what as per his own admission could very well be his last World Cup, Messi has been in admirable form, picking up three goals from four matches (the fourth one is ongoing) and is leading the World number three from the front.  

Also read: Who is Kely Nascimento, Pele’s daughter?

The goal puts Argentina in pole position to beat the Oz. A win will see them fight it out with Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Earlier in the day, Netherlands cruised to a 3-1 win over USMNT after goals by Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries.