- Lionel Messi scored a beauty in Argentina's 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the race to Qatar 2022 hots up
- The forward nutmegged an opponent before launching a curly ball straight into the right corner of the post
- The six-time Ballon winner has now broken Pele's longstanding international goals record after his hattrick
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Lionel Messi recorded his 55th career hattrick in style after powering Argentina to a 3-0 win triumph Bolivia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday, September 10.
The 34-year-old who helped La Albiceleste win their first silverware since the 90s also broke legendary Pele's international goals record during the game.
He now has 79 goals - two more than the Brazilian great as he sits at the summit of the South America's goals record chart.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner grabbed the opener in the 14th minute before completing the hattrick in the 64th and 88th minutes respectively.
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However, the opener was the best from the Barcelona icon in the game after curling the ball into the left corner of the post from outside the 18-yard box as reported by Sport Bible.
This was after he had nutmegged one of the Bolivian stars after receiving the ball before making the audacious move that led to the opening goal of the encounter.
Top 3 highest goals scorers in South America
Messi now tops the chart with 79 goals while Pele comes second with 77 goals and Neymar now has 68 goals to his credit at the international stage.
The 34-year-old and his teammates also had the chance to celebrate the Copa America title they won in July 2021 with their fans in Buenos Aires.
How Lionel Messi scored hattrick vs Bolivia
It was earlier reported that Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to a 3-0 triumph over Bolivia as the race to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup championship continues.
The 34-year-old forward scored all three goals to keep his country second on the log with 18 points after eight games - eight points behind Brazil.
Apart from helping his national team claim maximum points at the end of the game, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner also surpassed legendary Pele's longstanding 77 goals record by a South American player.