Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two most successful footballers of this generation. At present, however, it is the 36-year-old Portugal international who has the edge in national team colors.
Ronaldo became the all-time international top scorer of men’s football with his brace against Ireland in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. The double took his tally to 111, which is two more than previous record-holder Ali Daei’s (Iran) magic figure of 109.
His “arch-nemesis” Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is the joint-eighth highest scorer with 76 goals and still needs two more to surpass the great Pele (77). Despite trailing Ronaldo by 35 goals, Messi has been no less menacing on the international scene. The Paris Saint-Germain man won the Copa America 2021 in the summer and is determined to improve his goal tally in the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Over the course of his international career, Messi has scored against many teams, but some have been a little too ‘welcoming.’ Messi has picked up 26 goals from these five countries alone, which contributes to over 34% of his total goals.
5 countries Lionel Messi loves to score against for Argentina
#5 Paraguay – 5 goals
Paraguay went to Argentina for their 2014 World Cup Qualifiers in September 2013. The hosts were thoroughly the better team and convincingly came out on top on the night. Lionel Messi scored the third goal for Argentina, helping them to a comfortable 3-1 win. In the return leg, Paraguay scored a couple of goals against the favorites, but Lionel Messi’s brace nipped their hopes of a comeback in the bud.
In the 2015 and 2019 Copa America, Paraguay managed to keep Argentina from getting three points. And had it not been for Lionel Messi, who scored a goal each on two occasions, the underdogs would have walked with maximum points.
#4 Brazil – 5 goals
Brazil and Argentina arguably have the most decorated rivalry in football history. The two South American countries have produced plenty of gems over the years, rewarding us with unforgettable memories.
Being arguably the best player in the world, Messi has also been eager to do his best against Brazil. Unfortunately, the Argentine is yet to score in an official tournament against the Selecao.
All of Lionel Messi’s five goals have come in friendlies. His first goal against Brazil was in November 2010 in Qatar, which helped his side to a 1-0 win. He then scored a hat-trick against Neymar’s side on June 9th, 2012, in the United States, leading Argentina to a 4-3 triumph. He finally netted his fifth in the 2019 Superclasico de las Americas, helping Argentina to a 1-0 victory.
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