Lionel Messi has finally done it. At the fifth time of asking, he inspired Argentina to their first World Cup trophy in 36 years, scoring twice in the most dramatic of dramatic finals the competitions has ever seen (although French fans will tell you that his goal in extra-time, which was Argentina’s third, shouldn’t have counted).
In true Messi fashion, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has broken a number of records along the way. In scoring seven goals in the tournament (not enough to pip final hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappé to the Golden Boot), he first surpassed Diego Maradona’s tally of World Cup goals, then took Gabriel Batistuta’s all-time Argentinian record in the competition.
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Messi’s appearance in the final means he has now played 26 World Cup matches, one more than previous record holder Lothar Matthäus. His double on Sunday means he’s the only player to have scored in the group stages and in each knockout round in the present format. Messi also become the first player to win the Golden Ball in two different tournaments (he also won in 2014) and he’s now become the all-time South American top goalscorer in international tournaments ahead of Brazil’s Ronaldo.
And if those on-field records weren’t enough, Messi has also broken a new one off the field. The Argentina captain’s first Instagram post after the final – which contains 10 pictures of him and his teammates during and after the final (the World Cup trophy itself unsurprisingly makes an appearance) – has become the most liked Instagram post of all-time by a sportsperson. At the time of writing, Messi’s post has been liked nearly 46.2 million times. And you’ll never guess who’s previous record has been broken…
What was the previous most-liked Instagram post by a sportsperson?
Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t had a great few months, what with being dropped at Manchester United then having his contract ripped up, being dropped by Portugal and then failing in his last attempt to win the World Cup. And to make matters worse, he can now no longer boast the most-liked sports-related post on Instagram? Life just isn’t far.
That said, in Ronaldo’s previous record-holding post, the Portuguese had to share the limelight with his Argentinian ‘rival’, in which the duo appear playing chess for a collaboration with Louis Vuitton before the World Cup. That post currently has just under 42 million likes.
The most-liked post ever on Instagram is the world_record_egg (if you’re not familiar with it, it’s just a picture of an egg on a white background. Yes, really), which has over 56 million likes.
What does Lionel Messi’s record-breaking Instagram post say?
Here’s a translation of the text attached to Messi’s record-breaking post:
“WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!! I dreamed about it so many times, I wanted it so much that it still hasn’t sunk in, I can’t believe it…
Thank you very much to my family, to everyone who supports me and also to everyone who believed in us. We demonstrated once again that when Argentinians fight together and are united, we are capable of achieving what we set out to do. This is a collective achievement, it’s about much more than just individuals. It’s about the strength of everyone fighting for the same dream, which was also the dream of all Argentinians…We did it!
COME ON ARGENTINA!
We’ll see each other very soon.”