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Lionel Messi Rolled Back The Years With A Stunning Free-Kick And Two Assists As Argentina Defeated Ecuador 3-0 In The Copa America Quarter-Final

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Lionel Messi Rolled Back The Years With A Stunning Free-Kick And Two Assists As Argentina Defeated Ecuador 3-0 In The Copa America Quarter-Final

Lionel Messi rolled back the years with a stunning free-kick and two assists as Argentina defeated Ecuador 3-0 in the Copa America quarter-final.

The 34-year-old hit the post early on but teed up Rodrigo de Paul to open the scoring just before half-time and then set up Lautaro Martinez for the second in the 84th minute.

Not to be outdone, Messi curled in a brilliant free-kick in injury time to claim his 76th goal for his country after Piero Hincapie was sent off for a foul on Angel di Maria.


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The victory means Argentina will play Colombia in the semi-final on Wednesday.

Colombia beat Uruguay 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw.

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Brazil play Peru in the first semi 24 hours before.

"I've always said that individual prizes are secondary - we're here for something else," said Messi, who has four goals and four assists at this year's tournament.


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"We have an objective and we're focused on that.

"It was a hard match. We know how difficult an opponent they can be.

"The important thing is we've taken another step forward."

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Argentina haven't won the Copa America since 1993.



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Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi is a free agent after his contract with Barcelona expired at the start of the month.

Messi's contract was reportedly worth a staggering £476m over four years - £119m per season.

In addition to that, his signing-on fee was £99m, with a further £67m due as a loyalty bonus.

Among his suitors are the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter Milan, although he may well sign a new deal with Barca.

Topics: Lionel Messi, Copa America

Thomas Harvey
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