Lionel Messi scores ridiculous free-kick for Argentina vs Ecuador at Copa America

  • Rob Swan
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Lionel Messi further enhanced his reputation as the world’s best free-kick taker with another magnificent goal while playing for Argentina against Ecuador at the Copa America on Saturday night.

The legendary forward, who is currently a free agent after his Barcelona contract expired on June 30, scored Argentina’s third goal on the stroke of full-time.

Messi also assisted Argentina’s earlier goals, scored by Rodrigo de Paul and Lautaro Martinez, to inspire his national team to a place in the Copa America semi-finals.

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Argentina will now face Colombia on July 6, hoping to secure their spot in next weekend’s Copa America final.

With Messi in such imperious form, it would be a shock if Argentina fail to reach the final from this point.

With four goals to his name, Messi is the tournament’s leading scorer heading into the semi-finals.

His latest goal was absolutely sensational.

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Referee Wilton Sampaio had initially awarded a penalty when Angel Di Maria was fouled on the edge of the box, but VAR ruled that a free-kick should be taken instead.

This must have been music to Messi’s ears. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is surely the only footballer in history who often looks more dangerous from free-kicks than penalties.

Messi smiled before taking free-kick

Indeed, football fans noticed how Messi smiled just before stepping up to take the free-kick.

He just knew the ball was hitting the back of the net.

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Scoring a free-kick this close to goal is far from easy, but Messi made it look simple by curling the ball with power and precision past Hernan Galindez.

Video: Messi's free-kick for Argentina vs Ecuador

Watch Messi’s latest free-kick in all its glory here…

This angle is glorious...

Just magical. What a footballer.

Will Messi win the 2021 Ballon d'Or?

If Messi does inspire Argentina to glory at this summer’s Copa America - and seals his first international major trophy in the process - there’s every chance that he’ll land his hands on a record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or later this year.

Messi has now been directly involved in eight of Argentina’s 10 goals at the 2021 Copa America.

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There’s also every chance that Messi and Argentina will meet Brazil in the final.

Argentina’s historic rivals face Peru in Rio de Janeiro and will be the overwhelming favourites to advance to the final.

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