Argentina made history during the 2022 World Cup Final as they were awarded their fifth penalty kick of the tournament. The previous record was shared by the Netherlands in 1978 and Portugal in 1966 with four penalty kicks each. With his subsequent goal, Messi now is level on four goals with Eusébio and Rob Rensenbrink having scored the most penalty kicks in a single tournament.
MESSI PUTS ARGENTINA OUT IN FRONT pic.twitter.com/kZkUvRUXC9— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 18, 2022
It was Ousmane Dembélé who conceded the historic penalty in the 21st minute to secure the record for Argentina. Ángel Di María sliced his way past the Frenchman before being tripped up with light contact that opened the door for debate among those watching, but the decision stood and up stepped Lionel Messi.
PENALTY FOR ARGENTINA pic.twitter.com/F8j2rhZHMq— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 18, 2022
Argentina had been awarded penalties against Saudi Arabia, Poland, Netherlands and Croatia before today. Messi had scored all but one with Wojciech Szczęsny making the lone save during their group stage encounter.
Given that penalty kicks have been given at a higher rate in recent years, it's surprising that the record had stood since the 1966 World Cup when just 8 spot kicks were awarded. Half of all penalty kicks awarded at that tournament were given to Portugal and Eusébio capitalized scoring all four. The Netherlands leveled the record 12 years later with four penalty kicks of their own and Rensenbrink followed Eusébio’s lead as he made every shot.
This tournament saw the second most penalty kicks given in World Cup history with 23, only behind the 2018 edition when a staggering 29 spot kicks were awarded.