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Watch: Messi’s extraordinary goal that sent Argentina into FIFA World Cup quarters, leaves behind Maradona and Ronaldo

Lionel Messi marked his 1000th career appearance with a typically extraordinary goal that helped Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup round of 16 tie at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar and took the two-time champions to the quarterfinals. With the goal, Messi left behind Argentine football legend Diego Maradona and his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo to achieve a sensational feat.

Argentina’s first goal came in the 34th minute of the game when Messi worked his magic with his famous left foot to curl in a low one through the defenders and past the goalkeeper. It was Messi’s ninth goal in his World Cup career and a very first in the knockout stage.

With the goal, Messi went past Maradona and Guillermo Stábile to become the second-highest goal scorer for Argentina in FIFA World Cup. His tally of nine goals now only stands behind former Argentina captain Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 10 goals in his World Cup career.

Overall, he stands second among active footballers in the list of most World Cup goals scored, after Germany’s Thomas Mueller (10) and one ahead of Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (9).

Messi also levelled Ronaldo in terms of most goals scored in major tournaments. 13 of Messi’s 22 such goals came in Copa America. However, he is the only one between the two to have a goal in the FIFA World Cup knockouts.

Argentina eventually won 2-1 in the match against Australia. Julian Alvarez scored the second goal while Australia pulled one back off an own goal. La Albiceleste will now take on Netherlands, who beat USA 3-1 in the first round of 16 tie on Saturday, in the quarterfinal next week.

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