Messi Breaks Pele's Longstanding Goals Record After Scoring Hat-Trick in World Cup Qualifier Win vs Bolivia

Messi Breaks Pele's Longstanding Goals Record After Scoring Hat-Trick in World Cup Qualifier Win vs Bolivia

  • PSG new signing Lionel Messi has taken over from legendary Pele on the South American goalscorer's chart
  • The six-time Ballon d'Or winner scored three times for Argentine in their World Cup qualifier win over Bolivia
  • Messi now has two goals more than the three-time World Cup winner while he continues to work hard to appear in Qatar next year

Lionel Messi is officially the leading goalscorer in men’s football in South America after his hat trick against Bolivia on Thursday, September 9, ensured he surpassed the legendary Pele.

Messi breaks Pele's longstanding goals record after scoring hat-trick in World Cup qualifier win vs Bolivia
Lionel Messi receiving FIFA/FIFPro World XI award from legendary Pele in January 2012. Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP
Source: Getty Images

The Argentine maestro scored all three goals in his nation’s 3-0 win to take his goal tally on the international front to 79 in 153 games.

In contrast, Brazil legend Pele finished his career with 77 goals in 92 games.

Messi was in scintillating form from the off and found the back of the net with a sublime shot from the edge of the penalty box in the 14th minute with a goal that put him level on goals with the legendary Pele.

He nearly got his second on the night after some brilliant interplay with Angel Di Maria but his shot went narrowly wide in the first half.

Argentina looked threatening throughout the match and eventually made their dominance count thanks to Messi once again who dribbled past a defender in the box to slot home his second of the night.

Two minutes before time and he made it a hat trick after pouncing on a rebound to cap off what was an impressive and monumental night for Argentina in the World Cup qualifier.

After the match, Messi and his team mates celebrated with the Copa America trophy in front of 20000 fans who cheered the team on at the Monumental stadium.

As reported, Messi led his nation to Copa America glory for the first time in his career after beating Brazil in the final in July.

Messi’s message to fans after the game

Taking to Instagram after the victory over Bolivia, Messi shared a heartfelt message to fans, saying:

"I dreamed about this day a lot and thanks to God it arrived," Messi wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the team with the trophy after the match.
"I don't have words to thank you for all the love I've received. What a beautiful night, I enjoyed it so much - unforgettable."

How far is Messi from catching Ronaldo on the international goals tally?

Messi’s international goal tally now stands at 79 and while he is the undisputed GOAT in South America in that front, he still has a long way to go to catch up with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano recently cemented his name in history, becoming the all-time men's international top scorer after netting a brace in Portugal's 2-1 win against Ireland on Wednesday, September 1.

The 36-year old smashed the international goal’s record following his brace in Portugal’s 2-1 win over Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers taking his tally to 111.