Watch video: What a GOAL! Relive Lionel Messi's jaw-dropping free-kick
Lionel Messi has just become Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer, beating Gabriel Batistuta's record. And it was done in what style. Adjectives are inadequate to describe the goal.
This was Messi's 55th international goal. He had tied with previous record of 54 goals set by Batistuta last week.
The Argentina captain had drawn level with Batistuta's record with a strike against Venezuela in their 4-1 win in the Copa quarter-finals last Saturday.
Lionel Messi of Argentina scores a goal against Brad Guzan of United States on a free kick in the first half during a 2016 Copa America Centenario semifinal match at NRG Stadium on Tuesday in Houston, Texas. Pic/AFP
On Tuesday night, the five-time World Player of the Year needed just 32 minutes in Argentina's Copa America encounter against the United States to become the top scorer for Argentina. And he did it with a sensational curling free-kick that went into the underside of the crossbar, leaving goalkeeper Brad Guzan stunned.
MESSI'S MAGICAL KICK
Lionel Messi of Argentina takes the free-kick in the first half against the United States during a 2016 Copa America Centenario semifinal match at NRG Stadium on Tuesday in Houston, Texas. Pic/AFP
BEFORE AND AFTER
(Left) Lionel Messi looks on prior to scoring his free-kick. (Right) Messi celebrates after scoring the goal. Pic/AFP
The 28-year-old football star is leading from the front having found the back of the net five times in this Copa America during his campaign to lead Argentina to their first title in 23 years -- their first major title since the 1993 Copa.
In basketball terminology, the Barcelona star also provided great assists for all the other goals as Argentina beat the USA 4-0 in front of over 70,000 people at Houston's NRG Stadium to reach Sunday's Copa America Centenario final.
Messi created Argentina's opening goal for Ezequiel Lavezzi and was also involved in the build-up for their third, scored by Gonzalo Higuain in the 50th minute. Messi then laid on the pass for Higuain's second four minutes from time.
Argentina will now face either Chile or Colombia in Sunday's final at East Rutherford, New Jersey.
HERE'S THE AWE-INSPIRING GOAL:
CHECK IT OUT FROM THIS ANGLE:
— Matthew J. Jones (@mjjwatches) June 22, 2016
HERE'S ANOTHER ANGLE:
AND ONE MORE:
BY THE WAY, HERE'S MESSI'S AMAZING FREE KICK vs PANAMA
FOR THE STATS LOVERS
Argentina's list of all-time leading scorers:
Lionel Messi: 55
Gabriel Batistuta: 54
Hernan Crespo: 35
Diego Maradona: 34
Sergio Aguero: 33
Reminder that Leo Messi is 28 and will surely extend every single one of these records, as well as break a few more! pic.twitter.com/aLeTKD3BO5— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 22, 2016