Ronald Koeman has said he will bear no grudge if Lionel Messi overtakes his free-kick goalscoring record, but has pointed out that the Argentina captain remains one short.
The current Everton manager was a talented free-kick taker as a player and scored a total of 26 goals from set-pieces during his time at Barcelona.
Messi equalled the Dutchman’s record with a stunning free-kick in the second leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey last-16 clash with Athletic Bilbao – a 3-1 victory that saw the Catalans progress 4-3 on aggregate.
“If anyone has to overtake me, I’m glad that it is Messi,” Koeman is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
“Barca are very good. They have Messi in the team and he is a very decisive player, the best in the world.
“A team with such quality will always have the chance to win titles.”
Koeman, who was nicknamed the ‘king of free-kicks’ during his time in Catalonia, tweeted Messi to congratulate him.
But the Everton boss could not resist giving the Barcelona man a reminder that he was yet to break the record.
— Ronald Koeman (@RonaldKoeman) January 11, 2017
“Congratulations on scoring your 26th free-kick goal @FCBarcelona tonight, Leo #Messi!” he said.
“One to go to break another record.”
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