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Gabriel Batistuta: Lionel Messi taking my Argentina record annoyed me

14 Novembre 2017

Reports have even suggested former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola could mount a world-record bid to lure Messi to Manchester City. It was a title that I held.

Messi is on 61 goals from 110 appearances having overtaken Batigol's record during the Copa America Centenario previous year.

Messi, who started in Saturday's 1-0 global friendly against Russian Federation in Moscow, needed 110 games to leapfrog Batistuta and become Argentina's all-time top scorer and is now on 61 goals. It's not just any old thing.

The help of the Argentinean coach, Pato Bauza, and Messi's teammates were key in the return of Barcelona's player to the national team: "The coach and my teammates made everything easier for me", Messi said in an interview with a television channel.

"He'll finish with double the goals that I've scored", Batistuta said of the 30-year-old.

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He might have lost his record, but Batistuta does have one thing on Messi - global accolades.

The Barcelona star missed in the penalty shootout defeat to Chile as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years. Now, however, Messi has regained his joy and dreams of winning the 2018 World Cup with Argentina.

Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, has frequently been compared with another Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, throughout his career but has often been criticised because the nation has not won a major title since he has led the attack.

"I am experiencing this period with the national team in a different way, I am more relaxed. Unless they're lying to me, he has signed it".

Gabriel Batistuta: Lionel Messi taking my Argentina record annoyed me