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.
#CopaAmérica :trophy:- Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 4, 2021
¡Bombazo! Lionel Messi la clavó de tiro libre para el 3-0 final de @Argentina sobre @LaTri
:flag_ar: Argentina :vs: Ecuador :flag_ec:#VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/FcvQrHuRka
The victory means Argentina will play Colombia in the semi-final on Wednesday.
Colombia beat Uruguay 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw.
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.
:movie_camera: ' Lionel Messi vs Ecuador- :flag_nl: (@FDJChief) July 4, 2021
4 goals, 4 assists so far in the Copa America at the age of 34. He isn't slowing down anytime soon and we're never going to witness anyone like him ever :goat:
"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."
Argentina haven't won the Copa America since 1993.
Lionel Messi Goal from this angle :heart_eyes::goat:- vinar ✪ (@vinarr__) July 4, 2021
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