Lionel Messi is now South American all-time highest goalscorer after scoring 3 goals against Bolivia earlier today, September 10, 2021.
In the FIFA World Cup qualifier which was played at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, in front of about 20,000 spectators, Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead in the 14th minute.
The 34-year-old football star who is currently contracted to Paris Saint Germain, moved the ball through Bolivia’s defender’s legs before he shot the ball from outside the box. Bolivia goalkeeper, Carlos Lampe, could not stop the ball.
Messi’s hat-trick came in the 88th minute from close range by taking an advantage of a rebound from Bolivia’s goalkeeper. The goal increased Messi’s total goals tally from 76 goals to 79 goals.
This means that Lionel Messi is the first and only South American footballer that has scored 79 international goals in the history of football. He reached the milestone after playing 153 times for Argentina.
The 34-year-old 6-time Ballon d’Or winner is now 2 international goals ahead of Brazilian football legend Pele. The football icon scored 77 international goals in 92 official goals for Brazil before he retired from international football.
After the 3-0 victory over Bolivia, Lionel Messi had the opportunity to lift the Copa America trophy in the presence of 20,000 spectators. The football star helped Argentina to win the trophy on July 11, 2021, after defeating Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final.
While celebrating the victory with the spectators, the football icon could not hold his tears. After the game, he said: “I waited a lot of time for this, I bought this, I dreamed about this. It is a single moment because of the way it happened, after so much wait…
“There was no better way to celebrate than being here. My mom, my brothers are here in the tribunes… They suffered a lot and today they are here celebrating. I am very happy.”
Messi also took to his Instagram page to write: “I dreamed a lot about this day and thank God it came.
“I have no words to thank you for all the love received. What a beautiful night, I really enjoyed it. Unforgettable.”
Top Scorer South American
Lionel Messi: 79 (Argentina)
Pelé: 77 (Brazil)
Neymar: 69 (Brazil)
Luis Suárez: 64 (Uruguay)
Ronaldo: 62 (Brazil)
Barcelona reacts to the new record of Lionel Messi
The followers of FC Barcelona’s official Twitter page were surprised when the club could not help but celebrate Lionel Messi’s record.
The club took to their Twitter page to write: “Top goalscorer for a South American country. Brilliant, Leo!”
Recall that Lionel Messi spent over 17 years of his career at Barcelona before his contract with the club expired on June 30, 2021.
Afterward, the 34-year-old football icon left the Spanish La Liga club and joined Paris Saint Germain for free in August. The French club gave Messi a two-year deal which means that he will stay in Paris until June 30, 2023.