Picture : A new decisive goal and a new RECORD for Messi !
Messi: first ever player to score in 6 World Cup editions!
A new bunch of records from Lionel Messi took place in Argentina's debut match in the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign against Ecuador (1-0), in which he scored the decisive goal.
*The most significant of them: Messi became the first player in World Cup history to score goals in 6 different editions (from 2006 to 2026), including both the final and qualifying stages. Details are in the table below.
*Messi became the record co-holder for the number of World Cup editions in which he took part (6). There are 13 players with such a track record now. Among them, there are two more active ones, the Andorrans Ildefons Lima and Marc Pujol.
*Messi scored his 29th goal in the World Cup qualifiers of CONMEBOL zone; he equaled Luis Suárez (Uruguay) as the competition's historical top scorer.
*Messi increased his record as player with the most opening goals in the history of World Cup qualifiers. He has opened the score 14 times. The next is Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala, 12).
*Messi has equaled his compatriot Juan Román Riquelme as player with the most goals from a direct free kick in the history of the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the World Cup. Both have 4 successful attempts.
The next are Javier Chevantón (Uruguay), José Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) and José Manuel Rey (Venezuela), with 3 such goals each.
*Messi has tied James Rodríguez (Colombia) as player with the most goals (4 each) in World Cup qualifying matches that ended with a single goal (1-0 or 0-1).
*Finally, just to notice, Messi has come out of substitution in an official competition with Argentina for the first time since June 2014, when he was replaced by Ricky Álvarez against Nigeria in the World Cup in Brazil.
|MOST WORLD CUP||EDITIONS||WITH||SCORING GOALS (INCLUDING QUALIFYING STAGE)|
|Player||Country||Editions||Goals (Qual + Fin)|
|Lionel Messi||Argentina||6||2006(0+1), 2010(4+0), 2014(10+4), 2018(7+1), 2022(7+7), 2026(1+0)|
|Russell Latapy||Trinidad and Tobago||5||1990(0+0), 1994(1+0), 1998(3+0), 2002(3+0), 2006(1+0), 2010(1+0)|
|Carlos Ruiz||Guatemala||5||2002(8+0), 2006(10+0), 2010(6+0), 2014(6+0), 2018(9+0)|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||5||2006(7+1), 2010(0+1), 2014(8+1), 2018(15+4), 2022(6+1)|