Lionel Messi has surpassed another record as the Argentine keeps on scoring for his country. He has now joined rival Cristiano Ronaldo in scoring 100 international goals.
Lionel Messi scored his 100th goal for Argentina with a hat trick in the first half of the World Cup winners’ 7-0 dominant victory over Curacao on Tuesday. It was his 57th career hat trick as well. He also recorded an assist and gave up the chance to score a poker by giving up a penalty to Di Maria.
The 35 year old scored his 100th goal in an international friendly against the Caribbean squad in the 20th minute with a right-footed shot from the perimeter of the penalty area. He then scored his 101st goal for Argentina from a Nico Gonzalez cross, putting the ball to the right of the goalkeeper, and his 102nd on an easy dribble run. This earned him the match ball in the first half itself.
Argentina was dominating Curacao 5-0 at halfway, with Nico Gonzalez and Enzo Fernandez also scoring. Argentina’s ridiculous advantage was increased in the second half by Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Montiel, who scored in the 78th and 87th minutes, respectively.
A breakdown of the international goals of Lionel Messi
Only two male players have scored more goals for national teams in official games than Argentina’s captain. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (122), and Iran’s Ali Daei (109) are the only players ahead of him with only Cristiano active in international football.
Messi joins Ronaldo and Ali Daei as the only men to ever score 100 international goals 📈 pic.twitter.com/xe3y76Wbvb— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2023
He has become the first South American male player to reach 100 goals, and the second South American altogether, trailing only Brazil’s Marta, who has 109.
Almost half of Messi’s goals (46) have come in foreign friendly matches. The Paris Saint Germain forward has 28 goals in World Cup qualifications, including a hat trick against Ecuador in October 2017 that sealed Argentina’s place in the 2018 World Cup.
Messi has 13 Copa America goals and is Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer in World Cup tournaments. He has 13 WC goals in 26 matches covering five editions beginning in 2006. 7 of them came in the 2022 World Cup where he lifted the trophy finally.
Argentina’s friendly game in Santiago del Estero is the country’s second since lifting the World Cup in December. Last week, Messi’s side defeated Panama 2-0 in Buenos Aires.
Lionel Messi also has the most goal contributions in international football with 156 G\A for Argentina. Also, the little Magician has 55 assists for his country.
Messi has also been great in club form with 13 goals and 13 assists for PSG in Ligue 1 this season. However, an exit from the Champions League through a 3-0 defeat to Bayern earned him boos from the French fans. He is now close to an exit from PSG and could be on his way to Barcelona.