Messi becomes Argentina's all-time top scorer

A sensational free kick from the Argentina captain against the U.S. in the Copa America means he is now the nation's all-time goal scorer.

Lionel Messi has become Argentina's all-time record goal scorer after netting a sublime free kick in their 4-0 Copa America Centenario semifinal victory over the United States on Tuesday. 

The Argentina captain had drawn level with Gabriel Batistuta's record of 54 goals with a strike against Venezuela in their 4-1 win in the quarterfinals of the competition last Saturday.

But it took Messi just 32 minutes against the USA to find the net and become outright top scorer for Argentina, hitting a sensational free kick off the underside of the crossbar, leaving goalkeeper Brad Guzan helpless. 

"I am happy. I am grateful to all my teammates, and everyone who I have had the chance to play with for Argentina," Messi said after the match. "This record is thanks to them as well."

The goal put Argentina 2-0 ahead in the contest after Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring inside three minutes, with Barcelona star Messi creating the goal. Messi picked up another assist on Gonzalo Higuaín's goal in the 86th minute.

Argentina is looking to end its 23-year trophy drought at the tournament, and thanks to Messi's brilliance is well on its way to back-to-back Copa finals.