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Gabriel Batistuta: Lionel Messi taking my Argentina record annoyed me

Gabriel Batistuta: Lionel Messi taking my Argentina record annoyed me

Lionel Messi speaks exclusively to ESPN about his future with Argentina leading up to, and after, the World Cup in Russia.

Gabriel Batistuta says Lionel Messi surpassing his Argentina goal-scoring record annoyed him but told Telefe he is at least “second to an extra-terrestrial.”

Barcelona star Messi broke Batistuta’s feat of 54 goals for Argentina during last year’s Copa America Centenario and the Albiceleste captain has since moved seven goals clear.

On whether he was annoyed to lose his record, Batistuta told the Argentine TV station: “Honestly, not a little but a lot, yes. It was a title that I held. It’s not just any old thing.

“You go around the world and you say, ‘I’m the top scorer for the Argentina national team.’ I liked that.

“But the advantage I have is that I’m second to an extraterrestrial.”

Messi, who started in Saturday’s 1-0 international friendly against Russia in Moscow, needed 110 games to leapfrog Batistuta and become Argentina’s all-time top scorer and is now on 61 goals.

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

Former River Plate and Fiorentina star Batistuta scored his 54 goals in 77 games for Argentina from 1991 until 2002.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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