Argentina boss hails record-breaker Messi
Gerardo Martino hailed recordbreaker Lionel Messi as Argentina progressed to the Copa America Centenario final with a rout of the United States.
Messi’s stunning free-kick in the 4-0 win made him his country’s top goalscorer, his 55th goal taking him clear of Gabriel Batistuta’s tally.
Messi added two assists in a fine display, setting up Ezequiel Lavezzi’s third-minute opener with a sublime dinked pass before unselfishly squaring for Gonzalo Higuain to tap in his second late on as La Albiceleste ripped apart the host nation in Houston.
Argentina’s progression takes them to a third major final in as many years and presents another chance to win their first trophy since 1993.
“It makes me happy that Messi has surpassed the previous record of Bati, but knowing how he is, he is more happy for the team,” said Martino. “It is very good that the best player in the world is also the leading scorer of the national team.”
Argentina were too good for the United States, who failed to have a shot on target during the game.
Martino was delighted with his side’s performance but knows a tougher task awaits in Sunday’s final against Chile or Colombia.
“The team was very strong and we are happy with the overall performance. We dominated the game for 90 minutes,” Martino said.
“Today we pressed very well and we played very well. We need to do it against better teams, like Chile.”