Gabriel Batistuta was one of the stars of a generation that produced some brilliant strikers. If he was overshadowed by the likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldo then it's Lionel Messi doing it to him now. And he wasn't happy about it.

For those who don't remember the late 90s or early 00s it was a wonderful time for strikers. Sure there's a few top goalscorers out there now but the crop of the last era were something else.

Don't believe me? In the 2000/01 season, when Batistuta helped fire his team to the Serie A title, the top goalscorers were Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Enrico Chiesa, Batistuta and Christian Vieri. Not to mention the Argentine's teammate Francesco Totti.

Totti celebrates scoring followed by Batistuta and Vincenzo Montella, not a bad front three. Image: Twitter

That's not bad considering we've also yet to mention David Trezeguet, Ronaldo and Alessandro del Piero. The country was a hotbed of class goalscorers in an era of them.

Batistuta would easily fit as one of the most underrated in his time and he was Argentina's leading goalscorer, that was until Lionel Messi beat his record last year. Speaking to Telefe Batigol explained how he felt when the 30 year old broke his record, saying:

"Did it annoy me that Messi took the record? A little, yes.

"It was a title that I held. It's not just any old thing. You go around the world and people say, 'he's the top scorer for the Argentina national team.'

"I think I got to 54 or something like that. Lionel has more and will get almost double what I did. But the advantage I have is that I'm second to an extraterrestrial."

Messi celebrates after bagging during Argentina's must win World Cup qualifier in Ecuador. Image: PA

Messi broke Batistuta's national record last summer playing in the Copa America, which they would eventually lose on penalties in the final to Chile. a tournament that the former Fiorentina front man won twice.

The Barcelona forward has already surpassed the elder statesman by some way already and has now scored 61 goals to El Ángel Gabriel's 54.

Batistuta's Argentina won more than Messi's has. Image: PA

Being overshadowed by his peers might annoy the great man but when the person who has beaten your record is from another planet you can probably get over it quite quickly.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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