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Watch: Lionel Messi Scores Hat-trick vs Bolivia; Overtakes Pele

Lionel Messi has now scored 79 goals in internationals for Argentina.

Updated
Football
1 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Bolivia.</p></div>
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Argentina captain Lionel Messi has added yet another feather to his cap after he overtook the legendary Pele’s international goal tally, becoming the South America’s top international scorer.

Messi scored a hat-trick against Bolivia in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires as Argentina won 3-0.

Messi scored his first goal in the 14th minute dancing around the Bolivian defence before curling the ball into the net from just outside the box. Messi added a second in the 64th minute after working a one-two with Lautaro Martinez and displaying superb footwork in a packed penalty box, before completing his hat-trick with two minutes left in the game, crashing home a rebound from close range.

His 77th, 78th and 79th goals marked his seventh hat-trick for the national side and took him two above Pele in the South American scoring charts.

“I was really anxious, and I really wanted to enjoy it,” Messi said.

“I’ve waited a long time for this, I went for it, and I dreamt about it. It’s a unique moment for the way it came about, after waiting so long.”

Argentina had recently won the Copa America in July, their first major title in 28 years, and Messi danced with his team mates and showed off the trophy to the 21,000 supporters present, who were watching their national team for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Messi broke down in tears as he lifted the Copa America trophy at the Monumental stadium.

(With Reuters inputs)

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