Lionel Messi breaks record as Argentina reach Copa America final

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Lionel Messi became his country’s leading scorer with a superb free-kick as Argentina beat hosts the USA 4-0 reach Sunday’s Copa America final.

The Barcelona forward, 28, passed Gabriel Batistuta’s 54-goal tally with a 25-yard strike.

Messi provided the assist for Ezequiel Lavezzi’s opener, then scored his stunner before Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain fired in to make it 3-0.

Higuain scored with a tap-in in the 85th minute to complete the rout.

“I am happy to have surpassed Batistuta’s record and I want to thank my team-mates – it’s theirs as well,” said Messi, who turns 29 on Friday.

Argentina will play either Colombia ormessi reigning champions Chile, who meet in Chicago on Wednesday.

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