Messi eyes Pele record and a spot in Copa America final

Messi eyes Pele record and a spot in Copa America final

Lionel Messi has been extraordinary so far in the Copa America, having bagged four goals, made four assists and four man of the match performances in five games.

The Argentina captain has reached 76 goals in 149 games for the national team and he is one goal away from Pele's record of the most goals ever scored for a CONMEBOL nation, with 77 goals in 92 appearances.

La Albiceleste will face Colombia in the Copa America semi-final, one which will take place at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia and Messi will attempt to equal or surpass Pele's tally and reach the final.

After beating Peru in their semi-final, Brazil have already secured a spot in the tournament's decider where Messi could face his former teammate, Neymar, who has netted 68 goals with the Selecao.

Colombia have lacked consistency so far in the tournament and have reached the semi-finals mainly thanks to David Ospina, who saved two penalties in the shootout against Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Argentine media have hailed Messi's leadership and displays so far in this edition of the Copa America.

"I have never seen him like this with the Argentine top, being so dominant in the game and in spirit," noted journalist Carlos Salgado.

"[He comes] with an air of [Diego] Maradona. Mature, leader and captain."

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