The star of the Barcelona team and captain of the Argentine Eleven, Lionel Messi, is set to beat this Monday the record for participation in official matches with the Argentina national team, a record held so far by his compatriot Javier Mascherano, who had played for Argentina between 2003 and 2018.
Messi will don the “Albiceleste” jersey for the 147th time against Paraguay for the title of Matchday 3 of the Copa America in Brazil. “La Pulga” will play this match as captain of his team, galvanized by the triumph garnered against Chile during the previous day, which placed Argentina at the head of Group A.
His former teammates remember, a bit amused, his first match with the selection, on August 17, 2005, against Hungary when the referee sent him off after an appearance of barely 1m32s.
After this anecdotal start, the image of Messi within the Argentina team has radically changed. He became the top scorer in the history of the selection and undisputed captain of the team with which he played 4 World Cups and 6 South American Cups.
Although he still hasn’t been able to clinch a major title with the Argentine Eleven (he won an U-20 World Cup and an Olympic gold medal with the U-23), in the eyes of his fans, the new “Ten” is the worthy successor of Diego Armando Maradona, who died last November at the age of 60.