Kolkata: With a hat-trick against Bolivia in World Cup Qualifiers, Lionel Messi, a youngster from a troubled home in Rosario, Argentina, recently became the CONMEBOL’s men’s top goalscorer with 79 goals, breaking Pele’s 77 goal mark.
Arguably one of the best players of all time, he had a career in football laden with success as well as failures. Aged 18, Lionel Messi made his senior team debut against Hungary coming on as a substitute on 63 minutes, on a fateful day as he was sent off after just two minutes receiving a red card in a controversial incident.
Jose Pekerman, the manager to call him up for his debut described him as “a jewel”. The now, six times Ballon d’or winner scored his first goal against Croatia in a friendly, during the preparations for the 2006 World Cup. He added a feather to his crown, as he became the youngest player to represent Argentina in FIFA World Cup when he debuted in the 2006 World Cup.
Since then, he was an impeccable part of the men in Blue and White. During the 2010 World Cup, Messi took on the captain’s armband for the first time when they played Greece in a match that Albiceleste won 2-0. Only to be given the role full-time when Alejandro Sabella was appointed the manager in 2011.
He has seen it all, a goal drought in his national jersey that lasted well over two and half years starting since 2009. From, facing goal droughts to ending the trophy drought of Argentina after 28 years Lionel Messi has been through it all.
He has many unforgettable goals like the hat-trick against Brazil in a friendly, the Puskas nominated freekick against the USA, he even bailed out his team from dire conditions scoring a hat-trick against Ecuador to help Argentina qualify for the 2018 World Cup in a must-win encounter.
The recent hat-trick against Bolivia in front of an odd 20,000 fans who came to the stadium first time since the fateful Covid-19 outbreak, is made more special as Messi got to lift the Copa America trophy in front of the home crowd after facing criticism from his own fans and media, and his family being targeted after repeated failures in finals.
The teary-eyed Lionel Messi, finally heaved the sigh of relief as he added the prestigious international trophy to his name.