Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski has covered more distance at walking pace in a game than Lionel Messi at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, according to statistics.
Having missed a penalty in Argentina's final Group C game against Poland, Messi returned to his usual best against Australia in their 2-1 Round of 16 win. He scored the opening goal to take his tally for the campaign to three, but it has been noted that when the PSG ace hasn't been on the ball, he has not been much involved.
Messi walked 4.998 km in the Mexico game, while Lewandowski covered 5.202 km in the clash against Saudi Arabia, the most by a player at this World Cup. The two players also appear once again in the top five. Mohamed Salisu (4.833 km against Uruguay), Messi (4.736 km against Poland) and Lewandowski (4.736 km against Poland) round out the top five.
It shows what a threat the Poland captain has been off the ball, biut Messi generally makes up for his lack of off-the-ball contributions with immense creativity.
He creates plays, can switch plays, find an opening, or break open defences with an incisive through-ball, besides scoring. In short, the Argentina captain is a huge threat in possession.
Messi has three goals and an assist for the Albiceleste, who will continue their pursuit of a third FIFA World Cup title against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Friday (December 9).
Lewandowski's Poland were sent packing from Qatar following a 3-1 loss to reigning champions France in the last 16, where the 34-year-old striker bagged a late consolation strike from the spot.
Messi's Argentina face tall task in 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals
Argentina's FIFA World Cup title credentials will be put through a wringer against a talented Netherlands side who are unbeaten in 19 games.
The Oranje comfortably sailed through Group A after collecting seven points in three games. They then clinically dispatched USA 3-1 in the Round of 16.
They could give Argentina a serious run for their money, given their attacking arsenal and a solid defence that has conceded only twice in four games. Messi will have to be at his best against the Oranje, and the Sky Blues will rely on him to produce the goods once more.