Messi became the all – time leading scorer for a South American nation.
In a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier against Bolivia, Messi scored a hatrick as Argentina grab all the three points. These goals took him past Pele to become the all time goalscorer.
His first, a curling effort after a cheeky nutmeg, saw him go level with Pele on 77, before a close-range finish just past the hour saw him set a new record.
He then added another for good measure at the end to complete his hat-trick and reach 79 goals for Argentina on a momentous night at the Monumental.
After 28 years, Argentina finally won their first Copa America. in front of their own supporters at full-time, record-breaker Messi failed to hold back the tears.
“I have dreamed of this for a long time and I thank God it was given to me,” he said on the pitch afterwards.
“It is a unique moment because of how it happened and after so much waiting.
“There was no better way for it to be and to be able to be here, celebrating, is something incredible.
“My mother and my brothers are up there, they suffered a lot too. I’m very happy.”
Messi’s hatrick last Thursday was his seventh for country and the first on home grounds. Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 22 matches. a streak that began in 2019.
In 2018 World Cup, after Argentina was eliminated from competition, Messi took a break from international football.
Within this period, a lot of people thought Pele’s record will never be broken as Messi didn’t look like he was ready to exceed it.
“I cannot do more than be so happy, for my family who is watching me and for all Argentines,” Messi continued.
“I always say individual awards are secondary, because we are here for something else, but the truth is I am very excited.”
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