Lionel Messi Scores on Sensational Free Kick vs. Chile in Argentina's Copa América Opener

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Argentina forward Lionel Messi drew first blood on Monday against Chile during the group stage of the 2021 Copa América with a beautiful free-kick goal. 

Messi, 33, made contact with his left foot and curved the ball perfectly to place it in the upper right-hand corner and left Chile goalie Claudio Bravo on the ground after he failed to defend it. 

The free kick came in the 33rd minute and marks Messi's 57th free-kick goal of his career—surpassing Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 56—leaving him with the most among active players.  

This also adds to an already legendary international stat sheet for Messi and brings his goal total up to 73 in his 151 Argentina appearances. 

Chile salvaged a draw, though, answering in the 57th minute (eventually, after a pair of VAR reviews) when Eduardo Vargas landed a header the bottom right corner after Arturo Vidal had his penalty kick saved.

Messi and Argentina nearly struck late, when the Barcelona star's lofted pass picked out a wide open Nicolas Gonzalez in front of goal, only for the forward to head over from close range.

The teams return to action on Friday when Chile plays Bolivia at 5 p.m. ET and Argentina faces Uruguay the same day at 8 p.m. ET.

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