Lionel Messi has overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as the sports star with the most liked photo on Instagram.
The image was of Messi celebrating his Copa America triumph with Argentina. La Albiceleste beat Brazil 1-0 in the final with Angel Di Maria grabbing the game’s only goal in the first half.
After the dust had settled on the victory Messi took to Instagram to toast his success, posting a photo with the caption: “What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!”
So far the post has attracted well over 20 million likes, making it the most popular sports image on the social media site.
It overtakes an image Ronaldo posted following the death of Diego Maradona, accompanied with the caption: “Today I’m saying goodbye to a friend and the world is saying goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best of all-time. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but he leaves a legacy without limits and an emptiness that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”
Messi was inspirational in his side’s Copa America triumph, putting to bed criticism that he has underperformed at international level in the past. He was deservedly crowned player of the tournament after netting four goals and five assists en route to victory.
Messi’s summer has got off to a terrific start but his messy contract at Barcelona is yet to be sorted out. La Pulga has been a free agent as of 30 June and although he is widely expected to pen fresh terms at Camp Nou, a final agreement is yet to be reached.
Messi is thought to have agreed a fresh five-year contract on half of his previous salary, a deal which would expire after his 38th birthday.