Messi surpasses Pele with record-breaking fifth assist in World Cup knockout tie

Getty Images

Lionel Messi became the player with the most assists on record in World Cup knockout matches on Friday, surpassing Pele when he teed up Nahuel Molina's goal against the Netherlands.

Messi produced a trademark assist as Argentina hit the front 35 minutes into their quarter-final clash with the Oranje, slipping a fine reverse ball behind a packed defence for Molina to finish.

Since such records began in 1966, no player has matched Messi's tally of five assists in knockout ties at the tournament, with Pele managing four.

Molina's goal also gave Messi his seventh World Cup assist overall – all of which have come for different goalscorers.

Since 1966, only fellow Argentina great Diego Maradona has laid on more goals at the tournament as a whole, recording eight assists.