Lionel Messi just beat Cristiano Ronaldo to another key sporting record – the most liked athlete photo in Instagram history

Lionel Messi celebrates Argentina's Copa America win and Cristiano Ronaldo during a Euro 2020 Portugal game
Lionel Messi has pipped Cristiano Ronaldo to another record MB Media/Getty Images and Fran Santiago – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Lionel Messi overtook Cristiano Ronaldo to become the owner of the most-liked Instagram post by an athlete.

The picture, showing the Barcelona star hugging the Copa America trophy, has been liked more than 20 million times, beating the 19.8 million record previously held by Ronaldo.

The Argentina captain shared the image having tasted international success for the first time since an Olympic gold medal in 2008.

A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Messi, who recently agreed to a 50% pay cut to sign a new Barcelona deal, helped Argentina to a 1-0 win in the Copa America final, the team’s first success in the tournament for 23 years.

“What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!” – the six-time Ballon d’Or winner said alongside the image.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s record post was a tribute to Diego Maradona in November 2020 soon after the Argentine legend died from a cardiac arrest.

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated international and club soccer for the past decade, and are consistently vying for new records as they push to be considered the greatest player of all time.

In June, for example, Ronaldo equaled the record for most international goals by a men’s soccer player with 109, a figure matched only by Iran’s Ali Daei.