Lionel Messi.

USA vs Argentina: Lionel Messi stars as Argentina reach Copa America final

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Lionel Messi was the star of the show as Argentina defeated the United States 4-0 to reach the final of Copa America Centenario.

The Barcelona star scored one - an incredible free-kick - and assisted two goals as the Albiceleste advanced to their second final in two years.

Scroll down the page to watch Messi’s highlights. They make for splendid viewing.


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Gerardo Martino’s team will take on either Colombia or Chile in the final after comfortably beating the hosts.

Ezequiel Lavezzi got the ball rolling in the third minute when he headed home Messi’s delightful chip. Then Messi became Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer by scoring a stunning free-kick from 25 yards.

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It was 3-0 within five minutes of the restart, Gonzalo Higuain tucking the ball home at the second time of asking.

And the Napoli man completed the rout with four minutes remaining after Messi squared for him to finish.

Messi's free-kick

Fan footage

Messi's glorious assist for Lavezzi's goal

Match highlights

Full of thanks

Messi scored his 55th goal for Argentina, breaking Gabriel Batistuta’s record. In truly humble fashion, he thanked his teammates afterwards.

“I am happy. I am grateful to all my team-mates, and everyone who I have had the chance to play with for Argentina,” he said, per FourFourTwo. “This record is thanks to them as well."

The 28-year-old is now just one game away from winning his first major international trophy. After the disappointments of the 2014 World Cup and last year’s penalty shootout loss to Chile in the Copa America final, it feels that now is the time for Messi to get that monkey off his back.

"The objective when we arrived was to play another final, and we have made it," the forward continued.

"From the first day we have done things spectacularly well, and we deserve to be here.

"I hope this one does not escape. We deserve success for all the work we have been doing these past few years."

Martino's praise

One person who enjoyed Messi’s performance was, of course, Martino.

“It makes me very happy what he has done. Very pleased that has been in this Copa America,” the 53-year-old said, per FourFourTwo.

"It is great that the best player in the world is the leading scorer of the Argentina national team.

"But knowing how he is, he is happier about the team."

Messi is on a one-man mission to deliver Argentina’s first major title in 23 years. Only a foolish person would bet against him.

If Messi doesn't win an international tournament, will that affect his legacy? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Angel di Maria
Gonzalo Higuain
Lionel Messi

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