Argentina captain Lionel Messi netted a hat trick to give his side a 3-0 victory over Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday, surpassing Pele as South America’s top international scorer with 79 goals.
After the suspension of their clash with Brazil, Argentina achieved a convincing 3-0 win over
scored a hat-trick as the Copa America champions solidify their place in the World Cup qualifiers.
star broke the deadlock after 14 minutes in Buenos Aires with a curling strike from outside the box.
He grabbed his brace in the 64th minute after working a one-two with Lautaro Martinez, then completed the hat trick with two minutes left, sending the ball into the back of the net on a rebound from close range.
His 77th, 78th, and 79th goals marked his seventh hat trick for the national side and lifted him two above
on the South American scoring charts
“I really wanted to be able to enjoy it,"
Messi said after the match.
"I waited a long time for this, I looked for it and I dreamed of it. It’s a unique moment for the way it happened after so much waiting.
“There was no better way to celebrate this than to be here. My mother, my brothers are in the stands… They suffered a lot and today, they are here celebrating. I’m very happy.”
also surpassed his formerBarcelona
to become the leading scorer in CONMEBOL's men's World Cup qualifying.
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