Friday, July 12, 2024

Messi becomes most capped player in Copa America history

Messi becomes most capped player in Copa America history
June 21, 2024 Web Desk

ATLANTA, United States (AFP) - Argentina star Lionel Messi became the most-capped player in Copa America history on Thursday as he reached 35 appearances in the opening match of the tournament against Canada.

The 36-year-old had shared the record with Chilean goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone (34 caps) since appearing in the final of the 2021 Copa America in Brazil, where Argentina triumphed. Messi's appearances have been spread across seven editions of the Copa, starting with the 2007 tournament in Venezuela.

The eight-times Ballon d'Or winner could set more records in this year's competition -- he needs four goals to tie compatriot Norberto Mendez and Brazil's Zizinho as all-time Copa America scorer with 17 goals. Should Argentina win the tournament, Messi would also become the first captain to win back-to-back tournaments.

World champions Argentina opened their bid for back-to-back Copa America titles with a 2-0 win over Canada in front of a crowd of 70,564 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.