Argentine striker, Lionel Messi, became his country’s all-time top goal scorer on Tuesday when he scored in the Copa America semi-final against the United States, taking his international tally to 55 goals.
The five-time world best player scored in the 32nd minute of the match in Houston to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.
The goal, which came in his 112th international appearance, lifts him above Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 54 goals in 78 games for the two-time world cup champions.
Messi’s goal was a glorious free-kick from 25 yards out that gave U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan a run for his money.
He took the kick after being cynically tackled by Chris Wondolowski. The free-kick doubled Argentina’s lead after Ezequiel Lavezzi put them one up in just three minutes into the match.
The Barcelona striker now has five goals in the Centenary Copa America and is one behind Chilean Eduardo Vargas in the race to become the tournament’s top goal scorer. He has achieved his tally despite not starting in Argentina’s first three games because of a back injury.
His form has nevertheless been outstanding with the 28-year-old scoring a hat-trick in 19 minutes after coming on as a substitute in a 5-0 win over Paraguay last week.
Argentina are hot favorites to win the Copa and end a trophy drought that extends back to 1993, when they won the Copa in Ecuador.