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Lionel Messi's World Cup debut - Who were his teammates and where are they now?

9:47 AM IST 02/04/22
Lionel Messi, 2006 World Cup
Messi made his World Cup debut on June 16, 2006, against Serbia and Montenegro...

Lionel Messi is all set to appear in his fifth World Cup when he travels to Qatar with Argentina for the upcoming edition of the showpiece event.

The star player made his World Cup debut in 2006 against Serbia and Montenegro in Argentina's second group stage match.

Argentina won the tie 6-0 with Messi finding the back of the net on his World Cup debut. The 18-year-old, at that time, came on as a substitute in the 75th minute replacing Maxi Rodriguez and then scored his team's sixth goal in the 88th minute.

Who were Messi's teammates on his World Cup debut and where are they now?

  • Roberto Abbondanzieri Argentina 110315

    Roberto Abbondanzieri - GK

    The Argentine goalkeeper made his international debut in 2004 and played until 2008. Abbondanzieri for clubs like Rosario Central, Boca Juniors and Getafe and retired from professional football in 2010. Since 2012, he has worked at several Argentine clubs as an assistant coach. He last worked at Chilean top-tier side Curico Unido as an assistant coach. He left the job in 2021.

  • Nicolas Burdisso Genoa 05072016

    Nicolas Burdisso - Right-back

    The defender played for clubs like Boca Juniors, Inter Milan and AS Roma. He appeared in 49 international matches for Argentina between 2003 to 2011. Burdisso retired from professional football in 2018.

    After retirement, the Argentine joined Boca Juniors as their sporting director and served the club for two years. In July 2021, he was appointed as the technical director of Serie A side Fiorentina.

  • Roberto Ayala

    Roberto Ayala - Centre back

    The legendary Argentina defender played for top clubs like River Plate, Napoli and AC Milan. Ayala appeared in 116 international matches for Argentina before retiring in 2007. He retired from club football in December 2010.

    In 2011, Ayala was appointed as a football coordinator at Racing Club but was let go from the role in 2013. 

  • Gabriel Heinze Argentina

    Gabriel Heinze - Centre back

    Heinze played for the likes of Marseille, PSG, Manchester United and Real Madrid during his playing career as a left-back, winning the Premier League, LaLiga and Ligue 1 titles. 

    Heine was a runner-up with Argentina in two Copa Americas (2004 and 2007) and earned 72 international caps for the national team. 

    Heinze then turned to coaching and was most recently in charge of MLS outfit Atlanta United, from which he was sacked in July 2021.

  • Fabricio Coloccini Newcastle United West Bromwich Albion 05092015

    Fabricio Coloccini - Left-back

    The defender 39 international matches for Argentina between 2003 to 2014. At the club level, he played for teams like Boca Juniors, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Newcastle United. In 2021, he joined Argentine top division side Aldosivi.

  • Lucho Gonzalez Argentina Atenas 2004 24082016

    Lucho Gonzalez - Right wing

    Gonzalez retired from professional football at age of 40 in May 2021 after spending five seasons at Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense. He has played for clubs like FC Porto, Marseille and Qatari side Al Rayyan. He played 45 international matches for Argentina.

  • Javier Mascherano Argentina

    Javier Mascherano - Defensive midfield

    The defensive midfielder played for clubs like Liverpool and FC Barcelona in his career and was the highest-capped Argentine footballer until 2021 when Lionel Messi surpassed his tally of 147 matches at the Copa America 2021. He retired from professional football in 2020.

    In January 2022, he joined the Argentina U20 team as their head coach.

  • Juan Roman Riquelme Argentina Chile World Cup Qualyfing Round 2007

    Juan Roman Riquelme - Attacking midfield

    The Argentina legend represented his country in 51 international matches where he scored 17 goals from 1997 to 2008. Riquelme played for clubs like Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Villarreal. He retired from professional football in 2014. He currently serves as the second vice president at Boca Juniors.

  • Maxi Rodriguez Argentina

    Maxi Rodriguez - Left wing

    Rodriguez played for clubs like Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Newell's Old Boys in his career. He currently plays for a local Argentine club Hughes FC. He played 54 international matches and last played for Argentina in 2014. 

  • Javier Saviola Argentina

    Javier Saviola - Forward

    The forward played for clubs like River Plate, Barcelona, Real Madrid and AS Monaco. He appeared in 39 international matches for Argentina between 2000 to 2007. Saviola retired from professional football in 2016.

    He works as an assistant manager at Andorran top division club FC Ordino since 2016.

  • ONLY GERMANY Hernan Crespo Argentina 2006

    Hernan Crespo - Forward

    The legendary Argentine forward played for clubs like Inter Milan and Chelsea in his long and illustrious professional career. He retired from football after spending two seasons at Serie A side Parma in 2012.

    Crespo joined Brazilian giants Sao Paulo as their head coach in February 2021 on a two-year deal. He won the Campeonato Paulista, the club's first trophy in eight years.

    He is currently the manager of Al Duhail in Qatar.

  • Lionel Messi Argentina free-kick 2021

    Lionel Messi - Substitute

    The Argentine superstar recently won his first-ever international trophy as he guided La Albiceleste to Copa America 2021 triumph. Messi's contract with FC Barcelona got over in 2021 after which he joined PSG.

  • Carlos Tevez Argentina Ecuador Eliminatorias 2010

    Carlos Tevez - Substitute

    Tevez represented Argentina in 76 international matches where he scored 13 goals between 2004 to 2015. The Argentine forward played for clubs Manchester United, Manchester City Juventus and Boca Juniors. Tevez is currently a free agent after he left Boca Junior at the end of the 2020/21 season.

  • Esteban Cambiasso Argentina

    Esteban Cambiasso - Substitute

    The midfielder played for clubs like Inter Milan, Real Madrid, River Plater and Leicester City. He appeared in 52 international matches for Argentina between 2000 to 2011. Cambiasso last played for Olympiacos before retiring from professional football in 2017.

    After retirement, the player joined Colombia national team as their assistant manager ahead of the 2018 World Cup but left the job in September 2018.