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Copa América

Messi becomes second highest international goalscorer: how many goals is he behind Cristiano Ronaldo?

The Argentina captain scored in the 2024 Copa América semifinal against Canada but is unlikely to catch the Portugal star.

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Messi ya está detrás de Cristiano

Lionel Messi was on target as Argentina defeated Canada 2-0 in the Copa América 2024 semifinals on Tuesday, with his 51st-minute strike moving the Inter Miami star into (joint) second place on the list of all-time international goalscorers behind eternal foe Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Barcelona playmaker will hope to get closer to the Portuguese against either Uruguay or Colombia in the final at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday (July 14).

How many international goals have Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored?

After Julián Álvarez had opened the scoring midway through the first half, Messi flicked the ball into the net from close range early in the second period, drawing him level with Iranian striker Ali Daei on 109 international goals. Only Ronaldo, who has netted 130 times in 212 matches for Portugal, has more for his country.

The Argentine is therefore 21 behind (having played 36 matches fewer), although, now 37, time will almost certainly get the better of him.

Messi’s 109 have come in 186 caps and he has one more opportunity to take second spot on his own at the current tournament in the United States. Argentina will know their final opponents later on Wednesday, following the second semifinal between Uruguay and Colombia.

Ronaldo has been taking part in Euro 2024 at the same time but failed to add to his tally for Portugal as they were eliminated by France in the quarterfinals.

How many consecutive international tournaments has Messi scored in?

Messi’s strike against Canada was his first in this year’s Copa América and means he has now netted at least once in eight of his last major tournaments: four in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, one in the 2015 Copa América, five in the 2016 Copa América Centenario, one in the 2018 World Cup, one in the 2019 Copa América, four in the 2021 Copa América, seven in the 2022 World Cup and now one in the 2024 Copa América.

What Copa América records does Messi hold?

Messi’s latest Copa América goal has seen him reach yet more milestones in the competition.

The Argentina captain has become just the second player in history to score in six different editions of the tournament (2007, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2024), equalling the record set by Brazilian forward Zizinho (1942, 1945, 1946, 1949, 1953, 1957).

On top of that, he is the player who has played the most matches (38), won the most games (24), provided the most assists (18) and played in most tournaments (seven).

How many times has Messi won the Copa América with Argentina?

The ex-Barça icon, however, is looking to win just his second Copa América, a long way off being the most successful player in the competition (Uruguayan forward Ángel Romano won six times between 1916 and 1926).