Gabriel Batistuta was surprised it took Lionel Messi so long to break his Argentina goalscoring record.

Messi broke Batistuta’s mark in June last year and has taken his tally to 58 goals in 118 international appearances.

He is four clear as the nation’s top goalscorer and even at 30 has shown few signs of slowing down.

Batistuta, who netted 54 times in 77 internationals, said he knew Messi would break his mark, but was surprised it took as long as it did.

“I’d seen it coming for five or six years. I actually thought he’d have got there earlier,” he told FIFA 1904.

“It’s a record that was close to my heart, but he’s beaten it and that’s that.

“I broke the record myself back in the day. It’s what happens.”

Batistuta is well clear of Hernan Crespo (35 goals), who is third ahead of Diego Maradona (34) and current internationals Sergio Aguero (34) and Gonzalo Higuain (31).

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