You just can't write Lionel Messi's scripts any better.
After winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December and taking home the Golden Ball Award, Messi achieved another extraordinary feat in his first game with Argentina since the triumph.
In La Albiceleste's international friendly against Panama on Thursday, Messi curled in a free kick to the top right corner in the 89th minute to seal the 2-0 win.
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The goal meant Messi now has 800 in his career for both country and club.
In 778 appearances spanning 17 seasons with Barcelona, Messi scored a whopping 672 goals in all competitions. Then he added 29 (and counting) after moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021-22.
The 35-year-old came into Thursday's game against Panama with 98 international goals in all competitions, putting him one away from the mark. The free kick gave him 99 and his first goal for Argentina in 2023.
He had 18 goals across all competitions in 2022, a career high for one calendar year, including seven in the World Cup. He finished second in the Golden Boot race trailing only fellow PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who scored eight.