United States – June 2016
The all-time leader in goals for Argentina as well as his club side, Lionel Messi has scored a multitude of quality strikes for his national team. This past summer at the Copa America Centenario, the Rosario native led his team to the final with an effort that was special in several different ways.
Quite a bit of pressure was on Argentina to reach the tournament’s climax and do so in emphatic fashion. A dominant group stage showing was followed by a strong quarter-final victory over Venezuela, meeting the United States in the semi-final round.
After an opening loss to Colombia, manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s side played well to make a run in the competition. With Argentina holding a 1-0 advantage in the first half, Messi scored a goal that was both historic and sank the dreams of Copa America’s hosts.
With a difficult angle, a well-organised wall in front of him and a talented goalkeeper in a good position, Messi sent a scorching blast into the top corner that left the US staggered. Brad Guzan set himself up well and has a great reach, but he had no chance on such a piece of skill.
While he has often had a unique and sometimes difficult relationship with his home nation, Lionel Messi’s 57 goals for Argentina are a testament to his incredible work ethic and determination.