Lionel Messi scored his 800th career goal with a brilliant free-kick to secure Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Panama in a friendly match
The World Cup champions arrived in Buenos Aires where they were greeted with a tremendous reception from their devoted fans. However, it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the game that Albiceleste’s most-beloved player managed to score.
Messi hit the crossbar with a free kick in the first half. Despite his second free kick being saved by Panama’s goalkeeper Jose Guerra, he struck the woodwork again with a third free kick.
However, this time, his shot resulted in the opening goal, as Thiago Almada tapped in the rebound.
Messi becomes the second player to score 800 goals
After Messi’s fourth free-kick goal, the stadium erupted in excitement. But it was only recently that he achieved another significant goals milestone.
Messi scored his 700th club goal with a tap-in from Kylian Mbappe’s cross against Marseille on February 26. Since then, the goal against Panama was only his second for club or country. On Thursday, Messi scored his 99th international goal with a stunning free-kick at El Monumental.
Messi has scored 99 goals for Argentina. Only two players have scored more in international men’s football: Cristiano Ronaldo (120) and Ali Daei of Iran (109).
The Argentine legend is expected to continue playing for Argentina for a while, so it appears that his 100th goal for the national team is not far off.
Messi is not the only player to reach 800 goals in their career, but determining an accurate count can be difficult due to discrepancies in historical data regarding official goals and competitions.
Some legendary players like Romario and Pele are believed to have scored over 1,000 goals. However, many of these were in non-official games or friendly matches.
According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), Cristiano Ronaldo was recognized as the first player to reach 800 official goals in December 2021.
Therefore, Messi’s latest goal on Thursday puts him as the second player to have scored 800 official goals. Albiceleste legend shows no signs of slowing down.