He's ageing like a fine wine.

7 world-class players Lionel Messi has outscored on the international stage since turning 30

Lionel Messi has aged like a fine wine, particularly on the international stage, having produced some of his best and most iconic performances for Argentina well into his thirties.

In fact, since turning 30 Messi has enjoyed the kind of career and goalscoring return that even some world-class players can only dream of.

We’ve identified seven world-class players that Messi has outscored on the international stage since his 30th birthday back in 2017.

Andriy Shevchenko

The AC Milan and Dynamo Kyiv icon, a Champions League and Ballon d’Or winner, is without question the greatest Ukrainian footballer in history.

He remains Ukraine’s all-time top scorer, having scored 48 goals in 111 appearances. Sheva played a pivotal role to them reaching the quarter-finals in their only World Cup appearance back in 2006 and capped off his legendary international career with a brace against Sweden when Ukraine hosted Euro 2012.

Yet Messi has scored 50 goals on the international stage since turning 30. Different levels.

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Gareth Bale

John Charles has a shout, but Bale’s talismanic exploits on the international stage – leading them to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and a first World Cup in over a half a century – almost certainly secures his status as Wales’ greatest-ever player.

The five-time Champions League winner is also the Dragons’ all-time top goalscorer, notching 41 goals in 111 appearances at a rate of 0.37 per game.

There’s a chasm there in terms of quality of team-mates, but the fact that Messi could retire with treble that total, comfortably beating Bale’s tally in his thirties alone, is a testament to both his greatness and his longevity.

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Robin van Persie

Technically speaking, Messi hasn’t outscored Van Persie on the international stage since turning 30. We’re cheating a bit here.

The former Manchester United and Arsenal striker is the Netherlands’ all-time top goalscorer with 50 goals, so he’s currently level with post-30 Messi. Pretty good going.

Honestly, with Messi looking sharp at the Copa America, it’s surely only a matter of days before Messi scores another and officially moves ahead.

Johan Cruyff

There’s a big reason that the all-time international goalscorers is dominated by names from the modern era, with a considerably more stacked calendar and more matches nowadays.

Back in the day, the likes of Cruyff weren’t in a position to regularly fill their boots with regular qualifiers against the likes of San Marino and Liechtenstein.

He scored 33 goals in just 48 appearances for the Netherlands – with an 0.68 international goals-to-games ratio that’s actually superior to Messi’s.

Sergio Aguero

Aguero came up alongside Messi in the Argentinian youth ranks and they’ve since formed a close bond on and off the pitch.

The centre-forward went on to enjoy a pretty special career, winning five Premier League titles and becoming Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer as well as third in Argentina’s rankings – with 41 international goals.

But even Aguero recognises that he, nor anyone else, can hold a candle to Messi when it comes to individual quality.

“As long as he keeps playing, because I see him, you can ask anyone who has seen him in person, training and playing, it’s crazy how easy it is for him to do things that are a little more difficult for us,” Aguero said of his old pal back in 2012.

“In the 15 years I played in Europe, I never saw anything like him, but not even close.”

Alan Shearer

You can file Shearer alongside Cruyff in that his era of football didn’t quite afford him the opportunity to notch a century of international goals, something that England’s current top scorer Harry Kane might yet achieve if he can continue playing into his late 30s.

The top scorer at Euro ’96 announced his retirement from international football when he was just 30 years old himself. He scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for the Three Lions.

In doing so, he maximised his career at hometown club Newcastle United, surpassing Jackie Milburn’s mythical tally for the Magpies and went on to become the Premier League’s all-time top scorer.

Messi has taken a different tack, reversing his decision to retire from Argentina duty aged 29 after the Copa America final defeat to Chile in 2016.

He’ll be glad he did, eventually having his commitment rewarded when he captained the Albiceleste to the Copa America and World Cup in his twilight years.

Alan Shearer celebrates scoring his second penalty and fifth goal for Newcastle United against Sheffield Wednesday in the Premiership football match held at St James Park, Newcastle.

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Radamel Falcao

El Tigre is Colombia’s all-time top scorer with 36 goals across a career that spanned almost two decades.

Injuries might have denied Chelsea and Manchester United fans the chance to see the very best of Falcao, but he was an absolutely lethal goalscorer for Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco.

Messi has scored exactly three times as many international goals, and has 14 more since turning 30 alone. That’s not doing Falcao down – it’s just underling how outrageously good Messi has been.