ibtimes.com : 15 JUNE, 2021, 7:44 PM
Lionel Messi surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo in an elite record in professional soccer with a screamer goal during the Copa America 2021 match between Argentina and Chile on Monday.
Messi converted a free-kick into a goal in Argentina’s 1-1 draw against Chile and took his tally of free-kicks to 57, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo. While Messi has 50 free kicks for FC Barcelona and seven for Argentina, Ronaldo has 13 free kicks with Manchester United, 32 with Real Madrid and 10 with Portugal.
Until 2017, Messi’s tally of free-kicks was only 31, while his arch-rival Ronaldo was ahead in the race with49 free kicks to his name. In a span of four years, Messi has overtaken the Juventus forward, showing his dominance and consistency over the years, for both club and country.
Moreover, Diego Maradona with 62 free kicks holds the record for the most number of free kicks among Argentina players. Following Messi’s strike against Chile Monday, Messi is five goals away from matching the later player’s record.
It was also Messi’s only third free-kick in Copa America. His two previous strikes came against Panama and the United States, both in the 2016 tournament.
Messi’s free-kick against Chile was also his first non-penalty goal for Argentina in a competitive game since the 2018 FIFA World Cup match against Nigeria, while it was also his first direct free-kick goal for Argentina since the game against Colombia in 2016.
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