Argentina great Gabriel Batistuta admitted he was annoyed Lionel Messi broke his goalscoring record, but was glad it was surpassed by an “extraterrestrial”, Omnisport reports
Messi broke Batistuta’s record of 54 goals for Argentina at the Copa America Centenario last year, and has since moved seven clear.
The duo are well ahead of Sergio Aguero and Hernan Crespo, with the Manchester City star netting his 35th in Argentina’s 1-0 friendly win over Russia on Sunday.
Batistuta said he was frustrated to have Messi break his mark, but he paid tribute to the Barcelona superstar.
The relationship between Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi was a highlight of Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Russia for coach Jorge Sampaoli.
“Did it annoy me that Messi took the record? A little, yes,” he told Telefe.
“It was a title that I held. It’s not just any old thing. You go around the world and people say, ‘He’s the top scorer for the Argentina national team’.
“I think I got to 54 or something like that. Lionel has more and will get almost double what I did.
“But the advantage I have is that I’m second to an extraterrestrial.”
Batistuta won two Copa America titles and a Confederations Cup with Argentina, while a senior success with the national team may be about all that is missing for Messi.
Meanwhile, Messi admits he didn’t think through his decision to retire from international football.
The Barcelona star missed in the penalty shootout defeat to Chile as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.
His shock retirement stunned the sporting world but he’s since returned to the international fold.
Messi has now revealed all on retirement after firing Argentina to next year’s World Cup — shockingly admitting he made the decision on a whim.
“(Retiring) was a decision I made in the heat of the moment,” Messi told DirectTV Sports.