How many free-kicks has Messi scored? Argentina ace draws level with Beckham
Lionel Messi’s strike in Argentina’s victory over Ecuador took the Inter Miami ace alongside the Herons’ co-owner on the all-time list of free-kick goalscorers.
Lionel Messi’s winner against Ecuador saw the Argentina captain draw level with Inter Miami chief David Beckham in the all-time free-kick charts.
With 12 minutes remaining in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Messi netted a dead-ball effort that gave the tournament holders a 1-0 victory in their opening qualifier for the 2026 World Cup.
Messi moves into free-kick top five
The 36-year-old’s 104th international strike in 176 caps, it took him alongside Beckham on 65 career free-kick goals for club and country, with the pair joint fifth on the list of men’s soccer’s most prolific free-kick takers.
Messi now has the opportunity to overtake the former England skipper, who retired from playing in 2013, when Argentina visit Bolivia in their second World Cup qualifier on Tuesday 12 September.
Messi chasing down Juninho record
Messi is one behind former Barcelona team-mate Ronaldinho and fellow Argentine Víctor Legrotaglie in joint third, and is five shy of three-time World Cup winner Pelé.
To go level with the record holder, ex-Lyon and Brazil midfielder Juninho Pernambucano, he needs 12 more free-kick goals.
Double set-piece dose so far in Miami
Messi’s haul of 65 converted free-kicks includes two for new club Miami, which Beckham co-owns.
Most notably, the forward came off the bench to score a 94th-minute, match-winning free-kick on his debut for the MLS franchise, in a Leagues Cup group-stage clash with Cruz Azul in July.
In August, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner then fired in a last-gasp set-piece leveller against FC Dallas, as Miami beat the Texans on penalties in the Leagues Cup round of 16.
The Herons, for whom Messi has scored 11 goals in 11 appearances since moving to Florida this summer, went on to win the MLS-Liga MX inter-league tournament - the franchise’s first ever piece of silverware.