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Messi Drops Among Highest Scoring Active International Footballers

FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has dropped to third place among the top active international goalscorers, with his longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo and a new player now ahead of him.

Click through the gallery to see the top international record scorers, who are still active.

Messi has scored 65 goals for his home country but has not played a single game for the Albiceleste since taking a sabbatical from international football after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Indian striker Sunil Chhetri has used Messi’s absence to overtake the five-time Ballon d’Or winner among the highest scoring active players. The 34-year-old netted a brace in his side’s 4-1 Asian Cup win over Thailand and is now the second-highest active international goalscorer.

“I don’t take it too seriously. I mean there’s no comparison whatsoever between me and Lionel Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo,” Chhetri said, as quoted by FoxSportAsia.

“But I’m very very honoured. I don’t take it for granted the kind of goals that I score for my country. Every time I get an opportunity, I’ll do my best to score for my country.”

The only active player with more international goals than Chhetri is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has also taken a break from international football after the World Cup. 

The Portuguese has netted 85 goals for Portugal in his career and is the leading active international goalscorer.

Read: The Top 13 Goalscorers In Europe So Far This Season

Overall, only legendary Iran striker Ali Daei has scored more at international level after retiring with 109 goals in 2006.

Do you think Messi will return to playing for Argentina? Have your say in the comments section below.

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