Lionel Messi has once again broken another goal record set by an iconic figure and legend of the game named (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) popularly known as Pele as he struck the net three times when LA Albiceleste of Argentina defeated LA Verde of Bolivia in their world cup qualifiers game for Qatar 2022.
It takes an extraordinary player with an extraordinary effort to break an extraordinary record. Needless to say that Pele played his last international match on the 18th of July 1971 against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro.
Since then, no player has been able to break his international goal-scoring records from the South American hemisphere until Messi shattered it with 79 goals eclipsing 77 goals records set by the Brazilian.
The record had been in play for five(5) decades. The six-times Ballon d’Or winner has been proving his mettle and worthiness beyond any iota of doubt since his debut in 2005 for LA Albiceleste senior national team that he’s a phenomenon.
Lionel Messi has been Argentina’s opponent’s nightmare and nemesis with his dazzling and goal-scoring prowess. For who he is and what he’s been, right from the cradle of his international career, his progression could not have been described as usual.
In 2016, he surpassed Gabriel Batistuta’s goal record (54 goals). He has represented LA Albiceleste 153 times. The hat-trick netted by Leo ascended him to 79 international career goals. Only Brazilian greats Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) sit above Messi on the continent’s goalscoring charts.
The former Barcelona legend and their biggest player of all time is now on top of the men’s list category.
Lionel Messi is now fifth on the log of highest goal scorers chart in the men’s category with 79 goals, a position shared with Zambia scorer Godfrey Chitalu.
How can we talk about Messi without alluding to his fellow adversary in the last 15 years? The Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo last week scored a brace against the Republic of Ireland. He now has a total of 111 goals.
He also broke the highest goal scorer record set by Iranian football legend Ali Daei of 109 goals.
Earlier this year, June/July to be precise, The Argentine Maestro led his country to the Copa America title with a top-class performance, he was jointly named player of the tournament with his PSG teammate Neymar, he also won an award for the highest assist maker and the highest goal scorer with 4 goals.
It’s his first piece of major senior international trophy for his country.
Messi hat-trick against Bolivia was a proud moment for Leo as his family were in the stands at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires.
They could not have been happier and prouder seeing Messi breaking a record that stood for 50 years and creating a new one.
Messi, when interviewed after the game, he said “I wanted to be able to enjoy it, I waited a long time for this, I looked for it and I dreamed of it. It’s a unique moment for the way it happened after so much waiting. There was no better way to celebrate this than to be here. My mother, my brothers are in the stands. They suffered a lot and today, they are here celebrating. I’m very happy.”
Argentina have been trumping and grinding out results in their quest to be in the Mundial come next year. They have 18 points in eight games and are behind CONMEBOL group leaders Brazil by six points but they’ve not lost a game.
The three points taken from LA Verde kept Argentina on course for the World Cup qualification that would take place in Qatar next year. Fate might smile on the Messi-led LA Albiceleste this time in Doha.