Picture : Lionel Messi realised a fantastic year 2022 !

Messi: best annual tally for South America in XXI century!

The current year is extraordinary for Lionel Messi in terms of his international career, not only because his dream to win the World Cup is now so close to come true.
He has scored already 16 goals for Argentina in 2022. He has yet one match, the World Cup final vs France, to move this amount even higher, but already now he has scored for his national team more than any other South American player in any calendar year of XXI century. 
Neymar had the largest annual tally among South Americans before, 15 goals in 2012. In the whole football history of the continent, there was only one case of scoring more: Romário, 19 goals for Brazil in 1997.
19 goals is also the maximum annual tally globally in XXI century. This record belongs to Ali Mabkhout (UAE) who achieved it in 2019.
As for Messi himself, his personal best mark made previously 12 goals scored for Argentina in 2012. This happened when he experienced the peak of his goal-scoring career. Now, at the age of 35, normally considered as declination period for a professional player, Lionel exceeds his top by a significant margin!

1Ali MabkhoutUAE19201914
2Mohammad Al-SahlawiSaudi Arabia18201510
3Kevin ParsemainMartinique18201217
4Hani Al-DhabitOman18200128
5Ali DaeiIran17200416
 Memphis DepayNetherlands17202116
7Kiatisuk SenamuangThailand17200122
8Archie ThompsonAustralia1620017
9Lionel MessiArgentina16202213
10Harry KaneEngland16202116
12Shinji OkazakiJapan15200916