Messi Scores Hat-Trick, Breaks Pele Record

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Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, has broken the South American men’s record of goals held by Brazil legend, Pele.

Messi netted a hat-trick as they beat Bolivia 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying fixture in Buenos Aires.

It took his total tally of international goals to 79, two more than Pele’s.

The 34-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward, making his 153rd appearance for Argentina, drew level with Pele’s longstanding mark of 77 goals in the 14th minute, nutmegging a defender and then curling a sublime shot past Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.

The Argentina captain then moved one clear of Pele in the 64th minute with his second of the night, surging into the Bolivian box and playing a one-two with Lautaro Martinez before tucking away a finish from close range.

Messi completed the seventh international hat-trick of his career two minutes from time, burying a rebound from close range after a shot from the edge of the area was only parried by Lampe.

“I’ve waited a long time for this,” an emotional Messi said afterwards.

“Now I’m going to enjoy it, it’s a unique moment after waiting so long. I am very happy,” he added.

 
 
 
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