Ninety minutes away from glory: How Lionel Messi’s previous finals have played out

Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022 Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with the trophy

At 36 years of age, Lionel Messi continues to make soccer history, and is now 90 minutes away from clinching yet another piece of silverware. This time, it would be his first with Inter Miami CF, with only Nashville SC standing between him and the Leagues Cup 2023 title. It’ll be the Argentine maestro’s 42nd final - here’s a rundown of his previous ones.

The 4-1 semi-final win over the Philadelphia Union - in which he scored - saw Messi extend his record as the player with the all-time record for finals played. He has also scored the most goals and registered the most assists in finals.

The Argentine’s 42 finals have come in spells at three different clubs in Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Miami CF, as well as in the Argentinian national teams, both at youth and senior level.

Out of his previous 41 match-ups, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has won 29 and lost 12, which also makes him the player with the most finals won in the history of soccer. Of the 49 games (8 of the finals were played over two legs) he has found the net 36 times and registered 15 assists.

It’ll be his first final with the Florida outfit, one that he has clinched only 25 days after his debut against Cruz Azul, sealing a spot in the CONCACAF Champions Cup 2024 in the process.

A statistic that’s worth keeping in mind ahead of Saturday’s final is that Messi has won all of his last five finals. This run has included three with Argentina, one with Barcelona, and another with PSG. His best streak came between 2008 and 2010, when he came out on top in seven consecutive finals. Will he claim the Leagues Cup 2023 title and take one more step towards equalling that run?