Lionel Messi broke Argentina’s national-team record for goals scored on Tuesday.
Messi’s 55th international score came in the Copa America against the United States. He tied Gabriel Bautistia’s previous record of 54 last week against Venezuela.
Messi scored the record breaker in the 31st minute on an absolutely sublime free kick, which he buried in the top-right corner of the goal.
Messi Breaks Argentina Goal Record
Lionel Messi became Argentina’s leading scorer with a superb free-kick as they beat hosts the USA 4-0 to reach Sunday’s Copa America final.
The Barcelona forward, 28, passed Gabriel Batistuta’s 54-goal tally with a 25-yard strike.
Messi provided the assist for Ezequiel Lavezzi’s opener, then scored his stunner before Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain fired in to make it 3-0.
Higuain scored with a tap-in in the 85th minute to complete the rout.
“I am happy to have surpassed Batistuta’s record and I want to thank my team-mates, it’s theirs as well,” said Messi, who turns 29 on Friday.
Often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time, Messi is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d’Or, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes. With Barcelona he has won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, as well as four Copas del Rey. A prolific goalscorer, Messi holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season, a calendar year , a single season, a Champions League match, and most Champions League seasons.
As an Argentine international, Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer with 55 goals in 112 matches. He has represented his country in six major tournaments. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament as its best player and top scorer, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor.
Messi, 28, has played for Argentina’s national team since 2005.