"Lionel Messi" Overtakes Legendary "Pele" To Become The Highest Scoring South American Men's Player.

Lionel Messi scored an incredible hat-trick to overtake Pele longstanding record as the top international goalscorer in South American football history.

The Argentine superstar scored all three goals as he led his country Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Bolivia in their 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.

Messi made his 153rd appaerances for Argentina on the historic night, which saw him score his 77th, 78th, and 79th International goals and making it his seventh international hattrick.

His first goal drew level with Pele’s longstanding mark of 77 goals in the 14th minute, while his second in the 64th mins broke Pele’s record of the highest international men’s goalscorer in South American history. 

He scored the third just two minute from time to complete the remarkable night with a hattrick.

Messi now has two goals more than the three-time World Cup winner Pele, while he continues to help his team Argentina qualify for a place in next year’s showpiece in Qatar.

According to reports, Brazilian stars Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) are the only players to have more overall international goals than Messi in the continent. 

In an already very good night, Messi and his Argentine teammates then had the opportunity to finally celebrate their Copa America victory which they won in July.

The emotions were still there for all to see as they celebrate in front of the Argentine supporters.

After the match, Messi couldn't hold back tears speaking in an emotional interview: 

"I dreamed about this and have waited so long for it to happen. Finally, it's been given to me. 

"There is no better place to celebrate it than here. My mother and brothers are here tonight, they suffered a lot and today they celebrate. I am so happy.”

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is now 35 goals adrift great rival Cristiano Ronaldo who holds the outstanding record for highest  goals scored in international men's football with 111 goals from 180 games.

The victory came just four days after Argentina were embroiled in controversy with regional rivals Brazil in Sao Paulo, with the two teams’ qualifier on Sunday abandoned after seven minutes due to a Covid-19 controversy.

Brazilian authorities stopped the game after protesting at the involvement of England-based players Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham, and Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia.

All four players, who were accused by Brazil of falsifying entry records to the country, played no part in Thursday’s game in Buenos Aires after being released from the squad by the Argentina Football Association.

There was no sign of a hangover from the controversy amongst Argentina’s players on Thursday, as Messi quickly took centre stage to surpass Brazilian great Pele’s record in style.

The win leaves the two-time World Cup winners second in South America’s overall qualifying standings with 18 points from eight games, six points behind leaders Brazil, who maintained their 100 percent qualifying record on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Peru.


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