Lionel Messi made a mark in Argentina’s opening Group B Copa America clash against Chile at the Estadio Nilton Santos Stadium, Brazil as he scored a free-kick to put his team into the lead.
Although the game eventually finished 1-1 with Chile scoring the equaliser through Eduardo Vargas, Messi was in his element and impressed throughout.
Interestingly, the first-half goal against Chile was Messi’s 57th goal from a direct free-kick. The FC Barcelona star is now five goals short of Diego Maradona’s Argentinean record of 62 direct free-kick goals in his career.
Messi scored 50 free-kick goals for Barcelona
It must be noted that Messi has scored 50 direct free-kick goals for Barcelona and seven have come in for his national team.
Of the 745 goals scored by Messi, 7.6 per cent of his goals have come from direct free-kicks whereas Maradona’s 17 per cent goals came from dead ball situations of the 353 he scored.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal has scored 47 direct free-kick goals in his career, and is 10 goals shy of Messi’s 57.
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By Ritabrata Banerjee