Argentina and Croatia have gone up against each other on five occasions - thrice in friendlies and twice in World Cups. And it is all-square between the two sides when it comes to the head-to-head record.
With the first ever game - an international friendly in 1994 - having ended in a draw, Argentina and Croatia share the pie in the rest of the fixtures, with each side having won a friendly and World Cup game each.
Argentina’s talismanic forward Lionel Messi has played in three of these games - the two friendlies in 2006 and 2014 and in Russia 2018. He scored twice against the Vatreni; in fact, Messi’s very first international goal came against the Croats.
Then billed as one of the men to watch out for in the 2006 World Cup, Messi, 18, announced himself on the world stage on March 1, firing a curling left-footed shot past goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa in Basel. Prior to that, he had set up Carlos Tevez for Argentina’s first.
In 2014, Messi scored his only other goal against the Kockasti via penalty. This was the only game against Croatia where Messi had scored in a winning cause.
Although Messi played in the 2018 World Cup game, he could do little to stop the marauding Croats as Argentina succumbed to a heavy 3-0 loss.
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