Lionel Messi made a mark in Argentina’s Copa America quarterfinal clash against Ecuador at the Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico Stadium in Goiânia, Brazil as he scored a free-kick to seal a win for his team.The FC Barcelona star assisted twice along with scoring a stunning free-kick in Argentina’s thumping win in the knock-out game.Interestingly, the 90th-minute goal against Ecuador was Messi’s 58th goal from a direct free-kick. The FC Barcelona star is now four goals short of Diego Maradona’s Argentinean record of 62 direct free-kick goals in his career.
It must be noted that Messi has scored 50 direct free-kick goals for Barcelona and eight have come in for his national team.
Of the 748 goals scored by Messi, 7.75 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 56 direct free-kick goals in his career, and is two goals shy of Messi’s 58. Ronaldo has scored 32 free-kicks goals for Real Madrid, 13 for Manchester United, 10 for Portugal and one for Juventus.