Lionel Messi scored five goals for Argentina in a 5-0 win over Estonia in a friendly in Pamplona, Spain on Sunday, bringing the South American side to a 33-match unbeaten run.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker ended his less-than-stellar club season with two first-half goals and a hat-trick after the break as Argentina celebrated an easy win over their European opponents.
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Messi, who has now scored 86 times in 162 games for the national team, opened the scoring with an eighth-minute penalty while waiting for goalkeeper Matvei Igonen to sign before firing the ball into the bottom right corner.
The 34-year-old doubled Argentina’s lead just before half-time and added another goal two minutes into the second half. He sealed the result with two more goals in the 71st and 76th minutes. The former Barcelona star surpassed the 84 goals scored by former Hungarian grandmaster Ferenc Puskas.
Messi is now fourth in the all-time list of international goalscorers, three goals behind former Malaysian striker Mokhtar Dahari, in third place. Iran’s Ali Daei (109) is second while Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo remains first with 117 goals after scoring twice for Portugal on Sunday.
It was Messi’s second five-goal game of his career and the first for Argentina – giving him 86 in total with the national team – after reaching the mark with Barcelona in a game against Bayer Leverkusen on March 7, 2012.
After the game, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said: “I don’t know what else to say. It’s difficult. He’s like Rafa Nadal, what more do you want to say? There are no more words to describe him, huh. ” He is one of a kind and it is a pleasure to have him in this group, coaching him on how he behaves and his dedication to this shirt.
“We can only thank him. I don’t think he’s an Argentine heir, I think he’s a world heir. We will miss him when he stops playing. I hope he keeps playing and everyone enjoys and protects him, because it’s a pleasure to watch.” .”
Messi, 34, had two assists last week as Argentina beat Italy 3-0 in the first finalissima Meeting of the South American and European champions. Last year he helped Argentina win the Copa America for his first major title with the national team.
The victory extended Argentina’s unbeaten streak in all competitions to 33 games as the team continue their preparations for the World Cup in Qatar in November.
La Albiceleste are in Group C along with Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.