Lionel Messi has the chance to equal former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez’s record as the highest goalscorer in South American FIFA World Cup qualifiers when Argentina face off against Ecuador later tonight (September 7).
Messi has scored 28 times in the South American World Cup qualifiers, while Suarez has scored 29 for Uruguay. With the latter not selected for his country’s squad, Messi has the chance to equal or even surpass his former Barcelona teammate in the latest set of international games.
Messi has scored 103 goals in 175 games for Argentina. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner is on the cusp of another record. After playing Ecuador, Argentina take on Bolivia in FIFA World Cup qualifying five days later (September 12).
Javier Tebas bemoaned Lionel Messi’s Barcelona exit
Lionel Messi had to leave Barca in the summer of 2021, as the Blaugrana were unable to renew the Argentine’s contract due to La Liga’s wage cap rules. Since then, he played two seasons at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain before joining MLS side Inter Miami on a free transfer this summer.
La Liga president Javier Tebas said that he wished Messi had stayed in Spain. Speaking about one of La Liga’s greatest players, Tebas said (as per GOAL):
“Messi did not finish his career in La Liga because Leo and FC Barcelona did not agree. I wish he could have stayed and finished his career in La Liga. It would have been the best for him, for me and for Barcelona.”
Messi has been in great form for his new club Inter Miami. He has bagged 11 goals and provided five assists in 11 games across competitions for the MLS club. Messi also helped Tata Martino’s team win the inaugural Leagues Cup, the Herons’ first trophy in their short five-year history.