Lionel Messi sends message to Cristiano Ronaldo with 800th career goal

Messi – World Cup win 'best moment' of my career

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Lionel Messi showed Cristiano Ronaldo he is still the free-kick king after netting a stunning 30-yarder for his 800th career goal in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Panama. The Portugal captain has netted two free-kicks in his last two games but still had his thunder stolen by the PSG star as Argentina celebrated their World Cup success.

Messi and Ronaldo have both competed to be considered the best player in the world throughout their careers, pushing each other to new heights. However, it is the Argentine that tends to come out on top when football fans are asked to name their GOAT, especially after the 35-year-old led his nation to World Cup glory last year.

Now Messi has sent another message to Ronaldo with his free-kick goal against Panama on Thursday. The Al-Nassr skipper had scored one himself earlier in the evening against Liechtenstein but was outshone by the Argentine again as he stressed his dead-ball prowess to score the 62nd free-kick of his career.

Messi came close to netting from free-kicks twice during the match striking the woodwork twice in an extraordinary display of his set-piece ability. Ronaldo had just come off the back of scoring free-kicks in consecutive games but he cannot compete with the PSG man’s record.

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The strike was the 800th goal of Messi’s incredible career and helped him steal the limelight from Ronaldo in another way. The 38-year-old won the 197th international cap of his career last night, setting a new record for a male player. However, the focus will be on Messi again and his goalscoring ability.

The atmosphere within the Monumental de Nunez Stadium in Buenos Aires was a sight to behold as Argentina celebrated their World Cup success before and after the match. It was the first time La Albiceleste had played since the final in Qatar and they received a passionate homecoming from their fans.

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Messi and many of his team mates were noticeably emotional, especially as the national anthem was sung passionately around the stadium. The Argentina captain was later given a chance to talk directly to fans as he took in the moment.

“I always dreamed of this moment, to celebrate with you in my country Argentina, lifting the greatest thing that is the World Cup,” Messi said as he addressed the stadium. “Let’s keep doing what we are doing and enjoy this, because we have been waiting a long time to win it again. Let’s enjoy the third star.”

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