Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer after beating USA

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 21: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina gestures after defeating the United States 4-0 in a 2016 Copa America Centenario Semifinal match at NRG Stadium on June 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Bob Levey/Getty Images/AFP

HOUSTON, TX – JUNE 21: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina gestures after defeating the United States 4-0 in a 2016 Copa America Centenario Semifinal match at NRG Stadium on June 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Bob Levey/Getty Images/AFP

Lionel Messi has become Argentina’s all-time record goalscorer after netting a sublime free-kick in their Copa America Centenario semi-final against the United States on Tuesday.

The Argentina captain had drawn level with Gabriel Batistuta’s record of 54 goals with a strike against Venezuela in their 4-1 win in the quarter-finals of the competition last Saturday.

But it took Messi just 32 minutes against USA to find the net and become outright top scorer for Argentina, hitting a sensational free-kick off the underside of the crossbar, leaving goalkeeper Brad Guzan helpless.

The goal put Argentina 2-0 ahead in the contest after Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring inside three minutes, with Barcelona star Messi creating the goal.

Argentina are looking to end their 23-year trophy drought at the tournament, and thanks to Messi’s brilliance are well on their way to back-to-back Copa finals.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi thanked his Argentina team-mates after breaking the nation’s all-time goalscoring record in their Copa America Centenario semi-final triumph against the United States.

Messi eclipsed Gabriel Batistuta’s record with his 55th international goal after netting a sublime free-kick in Tuesday’s 4-0 rout of host nation USA in Houston.

The Argentina captain was in fine form throughout, setting up Ezequiel Lavezzi for the opener before laying it off to Gonzalo Higuain for the side’s fourth late in the game.

Messi’s free-kick came in the 32nd minute of the contest at NRG Stadium to make it 2-0, hitting the set-piece of the underside of the crossbar, leaving Brad Guzan with no chance.

On the record, Messi said: “I am happy. I am grateful to all my team-mates, and everyone who I have had the chance to play with for Argentina.

“This record is thanks to them as well.”

The win ensured Argentina qualified for back-to-back Copa America finals, and Messi believes they deserve success after losing last year’s decider to Chile, 12 months after they went down in the World Cup decider against Germany.



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