Lionel Messi’s international goals tally increased to 86 goals after the footballer scored a whopping five goals against Estonia in the most recent international friendly.
One of the biggest parameters making the Messi vs Ronaldo debate lop-sided is the Argentinian’s international goals. Lionel Messi sits seventh on the list of most international goals scored by footballers as the South-American football star trail Ronaldo by a hefty 35 goals.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the country’s all-time highest goalscorer leading legendary strikers like Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) and Sergio Aguero (42 goals). He had shattered Pele‘s record of 77 international goals by scoring against Bolivia in September 2021 in a World Cup qualifying win for Argentina.
However, since making his senior national team debut on August 17, 2005, Lionel Messi has been absolutely prolific scoring in almost every international competition that Argentina have played in. Below is the list of all the competitions in which Messi has scored.
Messi International Goals: By competition
|FIFA World Cup qualification||60||28|
|FIFA World Cup||19||6|
Lionel Messi has scored the most goals in international friendlies, which tallies to 39 in 48 games with the left-footer averaging 0.81 goals per international friendly.
Though Lionel Messi has managed to lift just one Copa America title that came in 2021, Argentina have managed to reach the semi-finals once and become runners-up another time in the other two editions under Messi’s captaincy. He has 13 goals in 34 Copa America matches.
Though Messi is yet to add his name to the FIFA World Cup winners list, the player has been a consistent performer for the national team in the elite competition. Messi has scored a whopping 27 goals in 58 World Cup qualifying matches for Argentina taking the team to WC finals on a regular basis. However, even Lionel Messi has found it difficult to score on the greatest stage of all with just 6 goals in 19 games.
Messi International Goals: By Year
Barring the debut year of his international career, Lionel Messi has scored in every single calendar year from 2006 to 2021.
Without a doubt, his most successful year came in 2012 when he scored an unbelievable 12 goals in just match matches. Messi also holds the record for scoring the most goals in a season in the 2011-12 campaign at the club and international level. Taking into account his 73 clubs goals across all competitions, Messi had managed an unbelievable 91 goals in a single calendar year – a record that stands intact till today.
Lionel Messi’s second most prolific year in international colours came last year when Argentine lifted the Copa America title by beating Brazil in the final.
Messi International Goals: By Opponents
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1|
|Serbia and Montenegro||1|
Lionel Messi has been his most devastating self against South American counter-part Bolivia. He has scored eight goals against them so far. The fact that Messi has scored five and more goals against South American heavyweights like Uruguay, Brazil and Chile shows the quality of the player.
However, Messi has been significantly less dangerous against the European giants like France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and others, where he hasn’t registered many goals.