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Lionel Messi already has another record after achieving 148 caps for Argentina after playing against Bolivia on Tuesday. With this, the Argentinian surpassed the record held until now by his compatriot Javier Mascherano as the player with the most appearances for the national team.
He could also break another record at this tournament if he plays all seven matches (reaching the final or the third-place play-off). He could become one of the players with the most appearances in the Copa América competition of all time.
Messi’s debut with the Argentinian shirt was almost 16 years ago, in the famous match against Hungary in which he was sent off.
“El jefecito” Mascherano
Javier Mascherano played in the Argentinian selection for 15 years. He closed the stage with the ‘Albiceleste’ team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Since he was young, Mascherano was known as ‘El jefecito’ (little boss). He made his debut for Argentina in 2003 at the age of 19 playing against Uruguay, two weeks before his first-division debut for River Plate.
In Europe, he played 1 year at West Ham United, 3 years with Liverpool, and he also defended FC Barcelona for 8 years, winning 18 trophies with the club, alongside his compatriot Messi. With the Blaugrana team, Mascherano played 334 games, 300 as a starter.
Of his 147 appearances for Argentina, 141 were as a captain. However, Messi has only 134 caps in his 148 appearances.
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Stats leader and free agent
Leo Messi closed the group stage of Copa América as a statistical leader. According to BeSoccer, the Argentinian captain is the top scorer, assist, and dribbler of the tournament, after 4 matches played and 3 goals scored.
The player became a free agent yesterday after his contract with Barcelona expired. There is no news of renewal with the Catalan club for the time being. In the meantime, the player together with his national team is warming up for the quarter-final match against Ecuador on Sunday 4 July.
Before the Copa América championship ends Messi will add a new record to his career, and we will know if he will stay at Barcelona or not.
Together with Brazil, Argentina is the favorite to win the Copa América 2021 championship. The two stars Neymar and Messi will compete to get the Trophy home.
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