Lionel Messi reached a staggering career milestone in Argentina’s win over Ecuador

Lionel Messi Argentina World Cup

Argentina’s win over Ecuador last night saw Lionel Messi etch his name even further into the history books of world football.

Messi makes the difference

Lionel Scaloni’s men welcomed Ecuador to the Bombonera late on Thursday, for the country’s opening 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The Albiceleste headed into proceedings as overwhelming favourites, with Scaloni having opted to call on a whole host of stars from across Europe.

And, when all was said and done, it was the most high-profile of these individuals who made the difference in Buenos Aires.

A hard-fought clash was eventually decided by a solitary 13th-minute penalty, with Lionel Messi having stepped up to convert low to Alexander Dominguez’s left.

Highlights: Argentina 1-0 Ecuador

Messi’s milestone

As outlined above, though, as well as proving the pivotal moment from a team perspective for Argentina last night, Messi’s strike versus Ecuador also came as a hugely significant one on an individual basis.

As revealed by reliable statistician MisterChip, the 33-year-old’s latest goal came as his 71st for his country. This of course comes on top of the staggering 634 times that Messi has managed to find the net for Barcelona.

He has also racked up 40 assists for his country, to go along with 255 at club level.

As such, combined and all told, Messi’s finish from the penalty spot on Thursday night means that the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner has now directly contributed to a frankly jawdropping 1000 goals across the entirety of his senior career:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.