Lionel Messi scores sick free kick goal in 2021 Copa America debut

Lionel Messi scores sick free kick goal in 2021 Copa America debut

One day after Neymar wowed fans with his performance in Brazil’s opening match of the 2021 Copa America, Lionel Messi one-upped him.

Messi scored a goal on a picture-perfect free kick to momentarily put Argentina ahead of Chile in the opening match of Group A. But Argentina couldn’t make it hold up and the game finished 1-1.

The Argentine legend can generally put the ball where he wants, and this time, he curled it into the top right corner past the outstretched arms of Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

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Here’s another angle of the goal to really appreciate the bend:

Neymar, who is a former teammate of Messi’s at FC Barcelona, was dazzling in his match with his passing, weaving runs and set piece deliveries. He scored a goal on a penalty kick, and he also served up another to Gabriel Barbosa as Brazil ran out 3-0 winners against Venezuela. Brazil are the defending Copa America champions.

Messi is under a lot of pressure to lead Argentina to a national team trophy, and the 2021 Copa America is his latest attempt. He’s been to the Copa America final three different times with Argentina, losing to Brazil in 2007 and then dropping two consecutive finals to Chile on penalty kicks (2015 and 2016).

Copa America starts out with a group stage that features all 10 South American countries split up into two groups. Argentina and Brazil, the two favorites to win the tournament, are kept in separate groups to start.