Lionel Messi has officially broken Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick record, scoring from a direct set-piece in Argentina’s 3-0 triumph over Jamaica early Wednesday morning.
In the win against Jamaica by the 2021 Copa America champions, the 35-year-old scored another brace after coming on as a substitute in the second half.
His goals came three minutes apart at the end of the game, including a free-kick shot that gave him his 59th goal from direct dead-ball situations for club and country.
Messi has now eclipsed Ronaldo’s free-kick record, with the ex-Real Madrid and Juventus striker having scored 58 goals from set-pieces in his career.
The Argentina captain is now only three away from matching Diego Maradona’s record tally of 62 free-kick goals, which means no other active football player has been more accurate from free-kicks than him.
After scoring 77 free-kick goals, Brazilian legend Juninho Pernambucano, largely regarded as the best dead-ball specialist of all time, continues to be ranked first.
The former Barcelona captain has already scored 10 goals for his nation in 2022, with 12 goals being the highest he has ever scored for Argentina in a single calendar year.
Nine of his ten strikes—including five against Estonia in July, two against Honduras this past weekend, and two against Jamaica—have come in his last three matches for the Albiceleste.