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Lionel Messi marked Argentina’s first game playing as World Champions by scoring his 800th career goal to help them beat Panama 2-0 in their International friendly at the Monumental de Nunez Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday night.
Messi, who had put on a man of the tournament performance to steer Argentina to their second World Cup in November, was again in the mesmerizing form to cement the occasion with another classic effort.
The Argentina skipper, launched a beautifully curling free kick in the 89th minute to the far right corner of the Panama goal, relegating the keeper to a spectator, as he watched his net become disturbed for the second time in the game.
Thiago Almada had found Argentina’s breakthrough in the 78th minute of what was a defensive game by the Panama team.
Messi now becomes just the second player to reach the milestone behind perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentina maestro’s tally includes 672 goals over 17 seasons for Barcelona and 29 for PSG.
Messi, who now has 99 goals for Argentina, will have the opportunity to score his 100th international goal when they play Curacao on Tuesday.