His first goal in particular is a thing of beauty.
Lionel Messi scored an incredible hat-trick on Thursday night to break Pele’s South American international goals record.
In yet another incredible individual performance from the Argentina forward, he scored all three goals in a 3-0 win over Bolivia.
The World Cup qualifier saw PSG’s latest signing grab all the headlines with the stunning hat-trick, though it was his first goal that was definitely the most impressive.
He got the ball over 25 yards away from the Bolivia goal, nutmegged the defender as if he wasn’t there, and calmly finessed the ball into the top corner with his left foot.
Leo Messi doing Leo Messi things…
You just knew what he was doing as soon as he nutmegged that helpless defender ???
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 10, 2021
Lionel Messi – record breaker
His third wasn’t the prettiest goal in the world, but his clinical instincts in the box should really strike fear into all of Europe’s top teams this season, going into the Champions League campaign.
It's a hat trick for Lionel Messi! ?
"The maestro has done it!" ?️ pic.twitter.com/JhE4fGuFQY
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 10, 2021
His three goals on the night mean he has scored 79 goals for Argentina, taking him past Pele’s haul for Brazil of 77.
And while his hat-trick was the most fitting way to break Pele’s record, Thursday night also saw him get to celebrate his Copa America win from this summer with his adoring fans.
A clearly emotional Messi cried as he finally got the opportunity to share the international trophy with his fans, after failing to do so (despite coming very close) up until this point in his career.
Look what it means to Leo Messi to celebrate winning the Copa America in front of fans! ? ? ?pic.twitter.com/11TTk4tzF2
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) September 10, 2021
Argentina’s Copa America win
Lionel Messi lifted the Copa America trophy back in July as Argentina ended a 28-year wait for silverware by beating Brazil 1-0 at Rio’s Maracana Stadium.
Argentina were captained by Messi throughout the campaign, and he was genuinely incredible from start to finish in the Copa America, finishing as joint top scorer on four goals and collecting the Player of the Tournament award.