Lionel Messi's Quest to Break Argentina's Goal-Scoring Record Is Significant

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 9: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after scoring his second of two goals during the first half of an international friendly soccer match on June 9, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has broken numerous records over the past few years, most related to his ability to score goals at an incredible rate. However, one upcoming milestone should not be overlooked.

The Argentine superstar has scored 32 goals for the national team over his career since joining the senior squad. With two more, he will tie Diego Maradona for the most in Argentina's history.

For a player that has won the Ballon d'Or and has scored more goals in a calendar year than anyone else in the history of the sport, this mark seems insignificant. However, the moment where he owns this national record should be treasured.

First, it is important to note the player that will be passed with three more goals. Maradona is one of the greatest ever to play the game, and the argument usually comes down to him and Pele.

In addition, the player remains a national hero after leading Argentina to a World Cup victory in 1986, earning the Golden Ball in the process. He even managed the national team in the most recent World Cup.

Messi has spent his entire career being compared to this living legend, and somehow he is actually catching up to these enormous expectations.

However, fans of the South American team have been hard on the talented player over his relative struggles on the international stage. They saw a player that was averaging more than one goal per game with Barcelona, but struggling to make an impact for Argentina.

These concerns only grew after the 2010 World Cup, when Messi failed to score a single goal in five matches.

With a few more goals, it will be hard for fans to complain. In the last seven matches in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, he has scored seven goals, including a penalty shot in the most recent contest.

His heroics have Argentina on top of the CONMEBOL table with a four-point lead. He is proving that he can score and help his team win on any stage in the world.

It might take a couple of matches for Messi to score his 34th career goal for Argentina. Still, it is a near certainty that he will be able to accomplish it at some point soon. When it happens, though, he will once again add to his legacy as one of the greatest players in history.