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Lionel Messi is No.1: Argentina Icon Sets All-Time Appearances Record

Arjun Singh Devgan
Lionel Messi made his 148th appearance for Argentina during their 4-1 win over Bolivia; which is the most by a player for the South American nation
Lionel Messi made his 148th appearance for Argentina during their 4-1 win over Bolivia; which is the most by a player for the South American nation / Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Argentina icon, Lionel Messi became his country's most-capped player on Monday when he led his side to an easy 4-1 win over Bolivia in their fifth Group A game of the 2021 Copa America held at the Arena Pantanal.

Messi has now made 148 appearances for Argentina, with the 34-year-old going past former captain, Javier Mascherano on the list. Mascherano who also played alongside Messi at Barcelona, turned up 147 times for his country during his career.

Former Inter Milan defender and skipper, Javier Zanetti held the record before Mascherano and completes the podium with 143 international appearances.

Messi for his part is also Argentina's all-time record goalscorer, with 75 goals - having moved past another legend in Gabriel Batistuta's record of 54 goals way back in 2016. Despite his brilliance in front of goal for the Albiceleste, the striker is yet to win a major international tournament with his country, having lost at the final in the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2007, 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America.

The player who has reiterated that one of his major aims is to lead his country to an international trophy, has been in the news over the past year or so regarding his future with Barcelona, considering that his current contract expires at the end of June.

His contract with the club expires on Wednesday and if a new deal is not agreed upon before then, he officially becomes a free agent on Thursday. However, the Catalan giants are working hard to reach an agreement over a new contract and are confident he will extend his 20-year relationship with them.

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