Uruguayan football star, Luis Suarez has equaled the goalscoring record of Argentine football icon, Lionel Messi in FIFA World Cup qualifiers after helping his country to defeat Paraguay 1-0 on Friday, January 28.
Before now, Lionel Messi holds the record of scoring 27 goals in all the World Cup qualifiers the 34-year-old football star has played in his career. He was the only South America player to ever score such a number of goals in the World Cup qualification series.
The Paris Saint Germain forward achieved the feat after playing 58 World Cup qualification matches in his career.
Messi would have played his 59th and 60th World Cup qualification matches on January 28 and on February 2, 2022, if he was fit enough for Argentina’s games against Chile and Columbia.
Argentina beat Chile 1-2 away from home to maintain their second spot in South America FIFA World Cup qualification table. Though Messi was left out of the squad to regain more fitness, his presence in the team is not so necessary since Argentina has already booked its place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Recall that Lionel Messi contracted coronavirus during the last Christmas holiday which sidelined him for weeks at his club. He has however recovered from the infection and has played his first match in 2022 on January 23.
As for Luis Suarez, the Atletico Madrid striker is trying to do all he can to ensure that his country qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Suarez and his Uruguayan teammates might not be able to get an automatic ticket to the tournament. The 1-0 win over Paraguay only improved their chances of making it to the World Cup qualification play-offs.
Hence, Suarez’s 50th-minute goal did not only help him to equal Messi’s record in the World Cup qualification playoffs, but the goal also help Uruguay to go a step closer to qualifying for at least the play-offs.
The 35-year-old striker broke Messi’s record after playing in 59 World Cup qualification matches. This means that the Uruguayan striker has played one qualifier more than the Argentine football icon.
Luis Suarez who has scored 9 goals and provided 2 assists in 17 games in all competitions, has until June 30, 2022, before his contract with Atletico Madrid expires. At the time of publishing this report, there is no strong report on whether Atletico Madrid plan to extend his stay at the club or not.
The football star is expected to be in action for Uruguay on Wednesday, February 2 when his country takes on Venezuela.