Lionel Messi closed the gap on Diego Maradona’s free-kick record as he netted in Argentina’s draw against Chile in the Albiceleste’s Copa America 2021 opener. The Barcelona man netted a sensational goal but wasn’t able to guide his team to a win as missed chances caused Lionel Scaloni’s team in their first game of the South American Championships at the Estadio Nilton Santos Stadium on Monday night. Argentina Held by Chile to 1–1 Draw Despite Lionel Messi’s Stunning Free-Kick.

Despite the match ending in a 1-1 draw as Chile scored through Eduardo Vargas in the second half, Lionel Messi once again impressed, getting himself on the score sheet while creating a number of chances as well. And with his goal, the Barcelona star closed in on the record of another Argentine great in Diego Maradona. Lionel Messi Begins Quest for Maiden International Title With a Rejuvenated Argentina.

Lionel Messi Goal Against Chile

The strike against Chile was Lionel Messi’s 57th free-kick goal but the 33-year-old still finds himself behind the tally of Diego Maradona, who netted 62 free-kick goals in his career while playing for the likes of Boca Juniors, Napoli, Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Out of the 57, Messi has netted, 50 of those has come for his club side Barcelona.

7.6 percent of the Barcelona star’s career goals (745*) have come from dead-ball situations whereas Maradona’s 17 percent goals came from direct free-kicks of the 353 he scored. With this goal, Lionel Messi surpassed his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has netted 56 goals from free-kicks.

Lionel Messi will be looking to add to his talky and inspire the Albiceleste to their first win in Copa America 2021 when they face Uruguay in the next fixture on June 19. The Barcelona star is searching for his maiden title with the national team.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 15, 2021 05:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website