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Batistuta: Losing Argentina scoring record to Messi will hurt

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Don't miss Batigol talking about Messi closing in on his record as well as his life after football.

Batigol watches a bogey approaching at 10 o'clock.
Batigol watches a bogey approaching at 10 o'clock.
Michael Steele/Getty Images
It's going to hurt when Messi breaks my scoring record, but we are not talking about being beaten by any terrestrial being.Gabriel Batistuta


Lionel Messi has 50 goals for Argentina in 107 appearances. He's already left Hernán Crespo (35) and Diego Maradona (34) in the dust. But he's not his nation's all-time leading scorer. That would be one Gabriel Omar Batistuta, who knocked in 56 goals in just 78 appearances for the Albiceleste. Never one to duck a hard truth, though, Batigol knows it's just a matter of time until Messi takes that top spot.

As a no-frills kind of guy, the current goal leader's story of taking over that spot is a perfect representation of his character: "I ended up being the highest goalscorer of all time without even realizing it. One day I woke up and heard that I'd scored more than Maradona."

He then explained, "It's going to hurt when Messi breaks my scoring record, but we are not talking about being beaten by any terrestrial being." Showing his usual clear head, he continued, "We can't say he [Messi] can't be bothered [about Argentina]," before questioning all the voices that accuse the little magician of underachieving on the international stage.

Asked about what he's up to now, Batistuta briefly talked about his golf and his polo and the fact that, at 47 years old and fully healthy, he's really enjoying life. Asked about Fiorentina, he dropped a couple of interesting tidbits. "I'm retired now," the legend said. "I've moved away from the sport since I left because I'd like to undertake a serious project and it's difficult to find one. For that reason, I congratulate the coaches here [at Fiorentina]. They work in an atmosphere that I couldn't." He finished up with a neat little insight, concluding, "Fiorentina called me, but I'm loved there and I don't want to risk that."

If he keeps going at his current rate, it'll take Messi 13 more matches to surpass Batistuta. Given that Leo's only 28, it's going to happen. Probably in the next year or so. And yeah, maybe it'll hurt Batigol. But he'll be fine. He's still probably the greatest player to ever call Florence home, and his goalscoring record (both volume and rate), is one of the most impressive ever, at the domestic and the international levels. And, more importantly, he's happy, healthy, and has a family he loves around him. Plus, he scored his way faster than Messi.