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WATCH: Messi surpasses CR7 with free-kick goal

WATCH: Argentina boss hails Messi as Leo scores brilliant free-kick goal to surpass Cristiano record

September 28, 2022 By Ali M.
La Pulga came off the bench and put in another masterclass, guiding his nation to a confidence-boosting 3-0 win over Jamaica.

The international break has finally come to an end, but it would not be a perfect farewell without another Lionel Messi masterclass!

After his lovely two-goal haul in the 3-0 victory over Honduras, featuring his brilliant chip over the keeper for the second of his two strikes, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner took center stage for his national team for the second time in a row.

The South American giants took on Jamaica in another friendly in the USA in one of their final preparatory games before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off on November 20. The Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, the venue for this tie, was packed with fans eager to see La Pulga live in action and while the PSG star started the game on the bench, he managed to entertain nonetheless after being subbed on.

The 35-year-old came on for Lautaro Martinez shortly before the hour mark yet was able to score twice, the first being a lovely shot from outside the box in the 86th minute. Three minutes later, Messi grabbed his second–and his nation's third–courtesy of a brilliant free-kick goal.

The attacker hit a low-driven shot that crept past the wall and into the bottom-left corner of the net, sending the fans in the stands into overdrive. Check out his lovely goal in the clip below (video is geo-restricted).

This effort not only saw La Pulga continue his fine goalscoring form for his country, netting a whopping nine times in his last three international appearances, but he also overtook bitter rival Cristiano in one interesting department. No longer are the two icons tied on free-kick goals as Tuesday's strike was Lionel's 59th in his career, moving him one ahead of Ronaldo (58).

As a result, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni was signing Messi's praises after the game, and understandably so, likening him to tennis icon Roger Federer, who recently retired, while claiming there might never be another player like Leo.

"I enjoy him just like you," Scaloni said, as per Mundo Albiceleste. "He is like Federer. He retired and the entire world got emotional thinking he won't be here anymore. It was wonderful to see him play. The same thing with him, although much more because football is a sport that moves much more. It's why the entire world enjoys him, regardless of the country.

"It's wonderful to see. I have the possibility of coaching him but if I were a fan, I would pay the ticket. The only thing left is to enjoy him because I don't know if there will ever be anything like him."

Argentina have one more friendly scheduled before Qatar 2022 and that is a showdown with fellow Middle-Eastern side the UAE. After that is their clash with Saudi Arabia on November 22, their opening fixture of the upcoming World Cup.


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Group Stage

Group A
Nov 20, 11:00amAl Khor
Qatar 0 - 2 Ecuador
Nov 21, 11:00amDoha
Senegal 0 - 2 Netherlands
Nov 25, 8:00amDoha
Qatar 1 - 3 Senegal
Nov 25, 11:00amAl Rayyan
Netherlands 1 - 1 Ecuador
Nov 29, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Ecuador 1 - 2 Senegal
Nov 29, 10:00amAl Khor
Netherlands 2 - 0 Qatar
Group B
Nov 21, 8:00amAl Rayyan
England 6 - 2 Iran
Nov 21, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
USA 1 - 1 Wales
Nov 25, 5:00amAl Rayyan
Wales 0 - 2 Iran
Nov 25, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
England 0 - 0 USA
Nov 29, 2:00pmDoha
Iran 0 - 1 USA
Nov 29, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
Wales 0 - 3 England
Group C
Nov 22, 5:00amLusail
Argentina 1 - 2 Saudi Arabia
Nov 22, 11:00amDoha
Mexico 0 - 0 Poland
Nov 26, 8:00amAl Rayyan
Poland 2 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Nov 26, 2:00pmLusail
Argentina 2 - 0 Mexico
Nov 30, 2:00pmDoha
Poland 0 - 2 Argentina
Nov 30, 2:00pmLusail
Saudi Arabia 1 - 2 Mexico
Group D
Nov 22, 8:00amAl Rayyan
Denmark 0 - 0 Tunisia
Nov 22, 2:00pmAl Wakrah
France 4 - 1 Australia
Nov 26, 5:00amAl Wakrah
Tunisia 0 - 1 Australia
Nov 26, 11:00amDoha
France 2 - 1 Denmark
Nov 30, 10:00amAl Wakrah
Australia 1 - 0 Denmark
Nov 30, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Tunisia 1 - 0 France
Group E
Nov 23, 8:00amAl Rayyan
Germany 1 - 2 Japan
Nov 23, 11:00amDoha
Spain 7 - 0 Costa Rica
Nov 27, 5:00amAl Rayyan
Japan 0 - 1 Costa Rica
Nov 27, 2:00pmAl Khor
Spain 1 - 1 Germany
Dec 1, 2:00pmAl Khor
Costa Rica vs Germany
Dec 1, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
Japan vs Spain
Group F
Nov 23, 5:00amAl Khor
Morocco 0 - 0 Croatia
Nov 23, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
Belgium 1 - 0 Canada
Nov 27, 8:00amDoha
Belgium 0 - 2 Morocco
Nov 27, 11:00amAl Rayyan
Croatia 4 - 1 Canada
Dec 1, 10:00amDoha
Canada vs Morocco
Dec 1, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Croatia vs Belgium
Group G
Nov 24, 5:00amAl Wakrah
Switzerland 1 - 0 Cameroon
Nov 24, 2:00pmLusail
Brazil 2 - 0 Serbia
Nov 28, 5:00amAl Wakrah
Cameroon 3 - 3 Serbia
Nov 28, 11:00amDoha
Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland
Dec 2, 2:00pmLusail
Cameroon vs Brazil
Dec 2, 2:00pmDoha
Serbia vs Switzerland
Group H
Nov 24, 8:00amAl Rayyan
Uruguay 0 - 0 Korea Republic
Nov 24, 11:00amDoha
Portugal 3 - 2 Ghana
Nov 28, 8:00amAl Rayyan
Korea Republic 2 - 3 Ghana
Nov 28, 2:00pmLusail
Portugal 2 - 0 Uruguay
Dec 2, 10:00amAl Wakrah
Ghana vs Uruguay
Dec 2, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Korea Republic vs Portugal
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Dec 3, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Netherlands vs USA
Dec 3, 2:00pmAl Rayyan
Argentina vs Australia
Dec 4, 10:00amDoha
France vs Poland
Dec 4, 2:00pmAl Khor
England vs Senegal
Round of 16
Dec 5, 10:00amAl Wakrah
1st Group E vs 2nd Group F
Dec 5, 2:00pmDoha
1st Group G vs 2nd Group H
Dec 6, 10:00amAl Rayyan
1st Group F vs 2nd Group E
Dec 6, 2:00pmLusail
1st Group H vs 2nd Group G
Quarter Final
Dec 9, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Winner Match 53 vs Winner Match 54
Dec 9, 2:00pmLusail
Winner Match 49 vs Winner Match 50
Dec 10, 10:00amDoha
Winner Match 55 vs Winner Match 56
Dec 10, 2:00pmAl Khor
Winner Match 51 vs Winner Match 52
Semi-final
Dec 13, 2:00pmLusail
Winner Quarter-final 1 vs Winner Quarter-final 2
Dec 14, 2:00pmAl Khor
Winner Quarter-final 3 vs Winner Quarter-final 4
Third place match
Dec 17, 10:00amAl Rayyan
Loser Semi-final 1 vs Loser Semi-final 2
Final