Argentina talisman Lionel Messi won his eighth Man of the Match award in World Cups on Sunday, going past Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seven trophies in the quadrennial showpiece.
Former Dutch footballer Arjen Robben, with six Player of the Match awards, is third on the list. The awards were instituted in 2002.
Messi, who scored his third goal at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup during the Round of 16 match against Australia, overtook Ronaldo on yet another front in the same game. The PSG forward, having scored his ninth overall World Cup goal, went past Ronaldo’s eight.
Messi, who opened Argentina’s account in the game against the Socceroos, struck the ball with his left foot from inside the box to beat Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. The ball settled into the bottom left corner of the net in the 35th minute.
Messi, who has now moved to the very top of the Golden Boot leaderboard, finds himself tied alongside France’s Kylian Mbappe, England forward Marcus Rashford and Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands. Ecuador skipper Enner Valencia has three goals as well but won’t be able to add to his tally as La Tri have been eliminated. Ronaldo has scored only one goal in this edition of the tournament.