'Simply stunning': Lionel Messi's jaw dropping goal delights fans

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·Sports Reporter
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Lionel Messi (pictured right) celebrating after he scored a screamer for Argentina (pictured left).
Lionel Messi (pictured right) scored a screamer for Argentina (pictured left) in the Copa America. (Images: Twitter/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi has produced an absolutely remarkable moment of magic for Argentina in his nation's opening clash in the Copa America against Chile.

Messi has entered the Copa America knowing this could be last chance at winning an international trophy, at the age of 34, after already signalling winning for Argentina would be the biggest achievement of his illustrious career.

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And Argentina appeared to be ready to start giving Messi what he craves at an empty Estadio Nilton Santos in Rio - with the game marked by a tribute to Argentine football great Diego Maradona, who died in November at age 60.

After coming close on numerous occasions Messi stepped up for Argentina in front in the 33rd minute.

Sitting outside the box to the right of the centre, Messi sent a curling free-kick into the back of the net, despite Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo getting a hand to it.

You could see what the goal meant for Messi who sprinted off in celebration with his teammates.

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The goal also took him above Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals scored from free-kicks in their careers.

Argentina rue missed chances

Chile stepped up the pressure in the second half and earned a penalty after video review.

Arturo Vidal's shot from the spot was saved but Vargas nodded the rebound into the empty goal to level the scoring in the 57th.

Messi continued to create opportunities until the end of the match but his teammates could not find the finishing touch.

"This match got complicated to us," an exhausted Messi said after the match.

Lionel Messi adjusts his captain's armband before a Group A match between Argentina and Chile at Estadio Olímpico Nilton Santos as part of Copa America Brazil 2021 on June 14, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lionel Messi adjusts his captain's armband before a Group A match between Argentina and Chile at Estadio OlĂ­mpico Nilton Santos as part of Copa America Brazil 2021 on June 14, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

"We needed to be calm, have the control of the possession and play more quickly.

"The penalty changed the match, too."

Paraguay went behind to an early penalty but fought back against 10 men in the second half to beat Bolivia 3-1 in Monday's other game.

Bolivia took the lead through Erwin Saavedra in the 10th minute from the penalty spot but the game changed in the seconds before halftime when Bolivia's 19-year-old Jaume Cuellar was sent off for a second yellow card offence.

with AAP

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