Lionel Messi, the Argentine forward for Paris Saint-Germain, made history on Tuesday by becoming just the third male player to score 100 international goals. He achieved the feat during Argentina’s 7-0 victory over Curacao in a friendly match in Santiago del Estero.
Messi opened the scoring in the 20th minute of the game. He added two more goals to complete his hat trick within the first half of the match.
Messi’s 100-goal achievement also marked his 174th appearance for his country after scoring his 99th international goal in a match against Panama last Thursday.
LEO MESSI SCORES HIS 100TH GOAL FOR ARGENTINA 🇦🇷🐐 pic.twitter.com/kbI4YVhApN
— MC (@CrewsMat10) March 28, 2023
Results of Messi’s 100th International Goal
The 35-year-old forward is now the first South American male player to score 100 international goals and the second South American overall behind Brazil’s Marta, who has scored 109 goals for her country.
Messi is currently third on the all-time men’s list of leading international scorers, behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who achieved a century of goals in September 2020, and Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 before retiring in 2007.
Aside from reaching third in the ranks, Messi, who already holds the record for the most international goals for Argentina, surpassed Gabriel Batistuta’s 56 goals and Sergio Aguero’s 41 goals combined.
Messi’s Records So Far
Almost half of Messi’s international goals (46) have come in friendly matches, and he has scored 28 goals in World Cup qualifiers. He is also the highest goalscorer for Argentina at World Cup competitions, having netted 13 goals in 26 matches spanning five editions, starting in 2006.
Messi is a record seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and made his Argentina debut in August 2005. He scored his first international goal a year later in his sixth appearance against Croatia.
Although he did not score in the 2021 Copa America final victory over rivals Brazil, it was Messi’s first major trophy with Argentina. He scored seven goals during the 2022 World Cup, including two goals in the final against France.
Other Highlights in the Game
The game against Curacao was the second match for Argentina since they won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last December, their first world title in 36 years.
Curacao held out for just 20 minutes before Messi opened the scoring, and three minutes later,
Argentina was quick to dominate after Messi’s opener, with Gonzalez and Enzo Fernandez scoring goals to give the team a 5-0 lead. The team continued their fantastic performance in the second half, with Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Montiel scoring goals in the 78th and 87th minutes, respectively.
The referee’s actions also made the headlines after the game. He was seen throwing the ball to someone on the side of the pitch, leading to speculation from commentators that it was heading “straight to the museum.” The moment added to the celebration of Messi’s historic achievement.
Messi will have an opportunity to add to his impressive goal tally when Argentina hosts Curacao in another friendly match on March 28. With his achievements so far, Messi shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.