Messi Breaks Pele’s Record
Argentine forward, Lionel Messi on Friday scored a hat-trick against Bolivia to overtake Brazilian great, Pele as the highest international goal scorer in South American football history.
Messi-led Argentina cruised to a 3-0 victory over their South American neighbors Bolivia in their 2022 World Cup qualifier.
The PSG forward scored his 77th, 78th, and 79th international goals for Argentina, keeping the Albiceleste in a firm position to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Bolivia on the other hand is languishing near the bottom of the South American qualifying table.
Messi, making his 153rd appearance for Argentina, scored his 77 international goal on the 14th minute to draw level with Pele’s longstanding mark via a curling sublime effort to beat Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.
The former Barcelona forward scored his second goal of the game in the 64th minute to leapfrog Pele from the number one spot as the highest international goal scorer in South America.
Messi scored his third of the night two minutes from time, to complete his seventh international hat-trick to further extend his lead over Pele.
“I’ve waited a long time for this,” an emotional Messi said afterward.
“Now I’m going to enjoy it, it’s a unique moment after waiting so long. I am very happy,” Messi said.
Messi’s rival, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in international football with 111 from 180 games.
Ronaldo broke the previous record of 109 goals by Iranian great Ali Daei with two dying minutes goals against Ireland, after missing a penalty in the early part of the game on September 1, 2021.