Argentina defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers at the on Friday, with Lionel Messi scoring his fifth free-kick goal of the year.
Argentina defeated Ecuador in the first game of the CONMEBOL qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup, thanks to a spectacular free-kick from Lionel Messi.
The world champions began their quest to defend their title against a challenging South American opponent at the El Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Copa America champions needed 78 minutes and Messi’s brilliance to break the Ecuadorians and secure all three points.
According to Republic World, the goal helped the skipper break two records, one of which was equaling Luis Suarez’s 29 goals in South American World Cup qualifiers.
Messi Equals Beckham’s Freekick Goals Record
Every day and with every goal, Messi equals, surpasses, or sets a new record, and his goal against Ecuador was no exception.
The freekick was Messi’s 65th of his career, his fifth in 2023, and his 11th for the national team, according to the MessivsRonaldo app. It was also the fourth goal in a World Cup qualifying match.
By earning 65 points, he equals Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, who also scored 65 points during his career. He is still far behind the leader, Brazilian attacker Juninho, who has 77 points.
Messi is now just two free-kick goals away from surpassing Brazilian legend. His first career goal was assisted by the former Barcelona player.