Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Who has scored the most free-kicks in their career?

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Lionel Messi’s terrific free-kick wasn’t enough to get Argentina off to a winning start at Copa America.

Messi gave his nation the lead after 33 minutes with a delicious set-piece at the Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos in Rio.

It was Messi’s seventh free-kick goal for Argentina, breaking Juan Román Riquelme’s record of six.

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It was also the 57th of his career.

However, it didn’t earn all three points as Chile equalised just before the hour mark.

Arturo Vidal saw his penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez but Eduardo Vargas reacted quickest to equalise.

And that’s how the match finished as both sides had to settle for a point each.

While Messi will be disappointed with Argentina only picking up a point, he’ll be pleased to have scored the 57th free-kick of his career.

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Why’s that significant?

Well, because it means he’s now surpassed his old foe Cristiano Ronaldo, who has managed 56 during his career.

That’s according to Spanish outlet AS, who believe the Argentine has now moved ahead of Ronaldo. That's claim is backed up by Messi and Ronaldo stats site, Michelacosta.

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That’s remarkable considering that, back in 2011, Ronaldo had scored 30 free-kicks and Messi had just four to his name.

That’s some comeback.

But Messi doesn’t find himself in the top 10 free-kick takers in football history - although he may well be 11th.

AS produced a graphic showing the top 10 following Messi’s 57th free-kick.

Check out the list below:

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So, Juninho is the free-kick GOAT.

He scored seven more free-kicks than Pele and his record seems untouchable.

Legends like Ronaldinho, David Beckham, Diego Maradona and Zico also find themselves on the list alongside goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who scored 59!

So, when it comes to talking about the greatest free-kick taker of all time, there’s only one name that should be on your lips - Juninho Pernambucano.

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