Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi has broken Argentina scoring record as he scored in the Copa America semi-final against the United States to take his international tally to 55 goals on Tuesday, making him his country’s all-time top goalscorer.
The Argentina star scored a stunning free kick in the 32nd minute of the match in Houston to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.
The five time winner of FIFA Ballon d’Or scored the a wonderful free kick from 25 yards out, giving the US goal keeper Brad Guzan little or no chance to catch the ball.
The awesome goal in his 112th international gave him a lift above Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 54 goals in 78 games for the two-time world champions.
Messi took the kick right after being cynically felled as he burst forward by the American receiving a yellow card, Chris Wondolowski.
The Barcelona forward now boasts of five goals in the Centenary Copa America and is one behind Chilean Eduardo Vargas in the race to become the tournament’s top goalscorer.
To prove his extraordinary talent is the fact that he was able to achieve his tally despite not starting in Argentina’s first three games as a result of a back injury.
Argentina is relying on the team to bring home the Copa America trophy and put an end to a trophyless state that extends back to 1993, when the country won the Copa in Ecuador.
The outstanding team reached the finals of the Copa America in 2015 and the World Cup in 2014 but almost lost both matches.
Over the last two years, Messi has been watching from the audience as Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who became a three-time winner last year lifts the trophy, but this time around, he has edged out the Real Madrid superstar, and team-mate Neymar to win the spectacular award.
His previous victories came between 2009 and 2012 with his latest triumph highlighting his return to the top of the world football game.