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Messi fans overjoyed as Argentine creates history in 1000th game; surpasses Maradona's World Cup goals tally

Legendary forward Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup knockout stage goal during his 1000th career game as Argentina battled Australia in their Qatar 2022 knockout stage. With nine goals, the 35-year-old star surpassed the iconic Diego Maradona's goal tally at the showpiece tournament.

football qatar 2022 Messi fans overjoyed as Argentine creates history in 1000th game surpasses Maradona World Cup goals tally snt
First Published Dec 4, 2022, 1:37 AM IST

Legendary forward Lionel Messi, who played his 1000th career game as Argentina battled Australia for a place in the Qatar World Cup 2022 quarter-finals, scored his first knockout round goal in the showpiece event. With a total of 9 goals, the 35-year-old superstar has now surpassed iconic Diego Maradona's goal tally at football's grandest stage.

By scoring the opening goal for Argentina in their World Cup 2022 clash against Australia, Messi now has as many major tournament goals as Cristiano Ronaldo (22), sending fans of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star into a tizzy.

Argentina had an early claim for a penalty dismissed when Papu Gómez's pass appeared to be blocked by the arm of Keanu Baccus in the area, but the referee waved the shouts away. The player was a free agent before the World Cup in Qatar.

Also read: Peter Drury for Messi's 1000th game excites fans as Argentina and Australia battle for World Cup 2022 QF berth

Before Argentina's side, led by Lionel Scaloni, found a way through thanks to Messi, Australia had frustrated Argentina for most of the first half.

In the 35th minute, Nicolás Otamendi flicked Alexis MacAllister's pass into his path at the edge of the box, and the Argentine number 10 scored a goal with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner in his 1000th career game. At half-time, Argentina was leading Australia 1-0. Messi now has 789 goals in 1,000 games in his career. 

Fans of Messi took to Twitter to celebrate their superstar's historic feat and flooded the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner with praises. "Glad I was alive to see this," said one fan, while another added, "1000 career games for Leo and of course he scores. Iconic!"

A third enthusiast remarked, "Keeps on shining! Greatest ever! #Messi."

Football expert and legendary England striker Gary Linekar said, "Messi scores his 789th goal in his 1000th match and his first ever in a knockout game at a World Cup. His 9th World Cup goal takes him ahead of Maradona and one behind Batistuta. A moment of Messi magic amid a messy match."

Here's a look at some of the other reactions on the micro-blogging site:

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