- Argentina captain Lionel Messi continues to make history for his country
- The star scored his 100th international goal for La Albiceleste vs. Curacao
- Sports Brief takes a look at international football's highest-scorers ever
Lionel Messi joined the highly coveted '100 international goal club' as he scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes in Argentina's 7-0 victory over Curacao.
The 35-year-old reached his century in the 20th minute against the Caribbean minnows at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, after finishing off a fine pass from Giovanni Lo Celso.
The Argentine phenom went ahead to score three goals in the encounter, taking his tally to 102 international goals for La Albiceleste.
With his hat-trick, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has become the third-highest international scorer of all-time.
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Sports Brief examines the six best international football scorers in all history.
Ferenc Puskas - 84 goals
Puskas, the most well-known Hungarian football player on this list, is best recognised for his time spent playing for Real Madrid. With 84 goals in just 85 games, the forward was also a key player for his country, guiding them to a gold medal at the Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 1954 World Cup.
In recognition of his outstanding performance, the Hungarian legend received the Golden Ball in the 1954 iteration. He currently holds the fifth-highest scoring position in the annals of international football history.
Sunil Chhetri - 85 goals
Sunil Chhetri, India's all-time leading scorer, appearance maker, and captain, ranks among the top four active footballers in the world for goals scored.
Chhetri, who is 37 years old, has been the primary goal scorer for his nation and most recently scored one goal against Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers in Kolkata.
The fact that Chhetri is ageing like fine wine suggests it won't be long before he climbs higher up this ranking.
Mokhtar Dahari - 89 goals
Between 1972 and 1985, Supermokh - as he is popularly known - ruled Malaysian football as a vicious goal-scorer. Named as the best Asian forward when he was just 23, he had a storied career that saw him lead the Malaysian team to a bronze medal in the 1974 Asian Games.
Dahari also led his country to their best ranking of 61 in 1977. He made his international debut at 19 years of age and scored an astonishing 89 goals for his nation in 142 games.
A big-time crowd favourite, Dahari was a huge reason why many youngsters took up the sport in Malaysia.
Lionel Messi - 102 goals
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the opening period of Tuesday's 7-0 rout of Curacao to reach 100 goals for Argentina in his career.
With a right-footed shot from the edge of the box in the 20th minute of the international friendly against the Caribbean squad, the 35-year-old achieved a century in the game.
Nico Gonzalez's crossed effort to the right of the goalkeeper helped Messi add his 100th and 102nd goals for Argentina, respectively.
Ali Daei - 109 goals
The player Cristiano Ronaldo was pursuing was generally recognised as Ali Daei among the current generation of supporters. At one time, the Iranian's 109 goals seemed insurmountable.
He began his career in 1993 in a Tehran-hosted ECO Cup match, where he remained for 13 years.
The legendary feat was accomplished by the former Bayern Munich star in just 149 games, during which time he led the group to an Asian Games gold title in 1998.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 122 goals
Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored at the international level with 122. In a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier encounter against Ireland, the Portuguese star scored twice to surpass Daei's mark of 11 goals for his country and take the record home.
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Since then, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has increased his total. He scored a brace against Liechtenstein on Wednesday and continued to bag another two goals against Luxembourg on Sunday in the European qualifiers.
It is impossible to truly comprehend how the Portuguese has affected the game.
In forthcoming matches, the nation's talisman will try to extend Portugal's advantage at the top of the list of all-time leading international scorers. Another milestone held by the player is becoming the all-time leading scorer in men's international football.