Lionel Messi breaks Pele’s long-standing record for the most international goals by a South American. The Argentinian scored all the game’s goals in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.
Lionel Messi scored all the goals in a 3-0 win in Buenos Aires over Bolivia. The goals take his total for Argentina to 79 in 153 games. Brazil legend Pele finished his career with 77 international goals from 92 games.
Messi’s 1st goal of the night came in the 14th-minute. A fantastic turn and shot from outside the box put him level with Pele. For his record-breaking 2nd goal, The 34-year-old fired a shot at a defender, which fortuitously rebounded back into his path for him to calmly slot home from close range. He then completed his hat-trick from another rebound 2 minutes before the end of the game.
After the match, Argentina captain Messi and his teammates celebrated with the Copa America trophy in front of 20,000 fans at the Monumental Stadium. He led the side to that title, which is his 1st major trophy in international football, by beating Brazil in the final last July.
“I dreamed about this day a lot and thanks to God it arrived,” Messi wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the team with the trophy after the match.
Messi’s 29-year-old Paris St Germain team-mate Neymar has scored 69 goals in 113 appearances for Brazil. Considering he’s 5 years younger than Messi, Neymar must have hopes of overtaking the Argentinian in the future. However, Marta holds the record for most goals scored by a South American player. She has netted 109 times for Brazil’s women’s team!
Argentina are 2nd to Brazil in the South American World Cup qualifying table after winning 5 and drawing 3 games.