'Messi never practises free kicks!' - Semedo speaks out on Barcelona superstar's 'natural' ability

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Lionel Messi Freekick Goal vs. Athletic Bilbao 01/31/21
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The Blaugrana defender, who is currently on loan at Wolves, claims the Argentine doesn't need to work on his dead-ball shooting in training

Nelson Semedo has spoken out on Lionel Messi's 'natural' ability from set-pieces, insisting the Barcelona superstar never practises free kicks.

Messi's pinpoint accuracy from deal-ball situations over the course of his 16-year career at Camp Nou has helped him become the highest-scoring player in Barca's history.

Many of the best free-kick takers in the game work on their technique religiously in training, but Semedo claims the Argentine has always been "perfect" when it comes to picking out the corner of the net from long range.

What has been said?

Asked what it's like to train with Messi on a daily basis, the full-back, who is currently taking in a season-long loan spell at Wolves, told The Telegraph : “Wow. I really don’t have many words that can describe how good he is.

“You know what makes him even more amazing? I never once saw him take a free kick in training, in all of the time I was there. I swear he never did!

“We always used to practise shooting from distance but Messi never took a free kick. For him, it was just natural.

“They say practice makes perfect – with him it was no practice and it was still perfect!”

Messi's free-kick record 

Messi has scored 658 goals in 763 games for Barca to date, including 49 from direct free kicks.

The 33-year-old has also found the net from a set-piece six times for Argentina, but is currently 11th in the list of all-time dead-ball greats.

Former Lyon midfielder Juninho holds the record with 77, while Brazil legend Pele managed 70 and David Beckham scored 66 over the course of his career.

Messi is ahead of his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, though, with the Juventus striker having scored 47 free kicks for club and country to date.

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What's next for Messi?

Messi will be back in action with Barca when they play host to Sevilla in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie on Wednesday.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner will also have the chance to add to his goal tally at the weekend, with a La Liga clash against Osasuna on the cards.

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