In the early hours of today, June 29, Lionel Messi led Argentina to beat Bolivia 4-1 in the ongoing Copa America by scoring two goals and provided an assist.
The game was the 148th time Lionel Messi played for the Argentina national team which means that he has played one game more than Javier Mascherano who used to be the Argentine player with the highest amount of international appearances.
In the record-breaking game, the 34-year-old Barcelona forward assisted Papu Gomez to score the opener in the 6th minute. He scored his goal in the 33rd minute from the spot-kick and then made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute with a stunning goal.
In the second half of the Group A game, Bolivia tried to fight back as the country’s 25-year-old versatile football star, Erwin Saavedra scored in the 60th minute. Five minutes after, Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez ended the game when he scored Argentina’s 4th goal in the 65th minute.
The 4-1 win helped Argentina to finish top of Copa America Group A with 10 points in four games, three points above second-placed Uruguay.
Argentina will now face Ecuador in the quarter-finals stage of the Copa America on Sunday, July 4 at 02:00 BST.
Lionel Messi and his international goals
Aside from breaking Javier Mascherano’s record to become the Argentine player with the highest international appearances, the two goals Lionel Messi scored against Bolivia have increased his international goals tally from 73 goals to 75 goals.
The record 6-times Ballon d’Or winner who made his debut for Argentina on August 17, 2005, scored his 75 international goals in 148 caps.
As it stands, Lionel Messi is the 9th all-time highest goalscorer in the history of international football. The 34-year-old football icon shares the 9th spot with the following retired footballers: Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis, Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto, and Iraq’s Bashar Abdullah.
Messi has now scored a goal more than India’s football icon, Sunil Chhetri who scored 74 international goals before he stopped playing football.
Messi has to score 34 goals to equal the all-time highest goalscorer record in international football. His career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, and retired Iranian footballer, Ali Daei are joint holders of the world record with 109 goals apiece.
Lionel Messi – The Big Game Player pic.twitter.com/JyWbkAObj7— AM Comps (@AMComps_) June 26, 2021
Below are Copa America quarter-finals fixtures
Peru v Paraguay (Friday 22:00 BST)
Brazil v Chile (Saturday 01:00 BST)
Uruguay v Colombia (Saturday 23:00 BST)
Argentina v Ecuador (Sunday 02:00 BST)