Lionel Messi's assist for Gonzalo Higuain's goal against Venezuela was superb

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Argentina are two games away from righting the wrongs of their Copa America final defeat against Chile last year - and, as ever, they have Lionel Messi to thank.

The diminutive genius started his first game of this year's Copa Centenario having finally shaken off a troublesome back injury, but it looked as though he'd never been away as he led Argentina to a 4-1 victory at the quarter-final stage against Venezuela.

It took just 9 minutes of the game at Gilette Stadium for the Barcelona ace to make his presence felt, teeing up Gonzalo Higuain with an incredible assist to make it 1-0. You can check out the video of his sublime pass below.

Things got even better for Messi from there as, after Higuain doubled Argentina's lead he got in on the act himself, finding the back of the net to become the Albiceleste's joint all-time leading goalscorer alongside Gabriel Batistuta.

To put the icing on the cake, the 28-year-old then teed up Tottenham's Erik Lamela to make it four with 20 minutes to go, just a minute after Venezuela had pulled one back through Salomon Rondon.

Messi's goal last night means he's the Copa Centenario's joint top-scorer with four - he bagged a hat-trick against Panama earlier on in the competition - and has helped set up a semi-final showdown against hosts USA.

Of course, his virtuoso performance came just hours after Cristiano Ronaldo endured a night to forget with Portugal at Euro 2016.

The Real Madrid man missed from the penalty spot against Austria and also had a goal ruled out for offside, leaving Portugal winless after two group stage games.

Next up they face Hungary, a game they must win if they are to have any hope of winning their group.

Do you think helping Argentina to win the Copa will help his legacy as the best player in the world?

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Angel di Maria
Argentina Football
Gonzalo Higuain
Lionel Messi
Sergio Aguero

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