Messi scored 57th hat-trick as Argentina won 7-0
Messi scored a hat-trick as Argentina won 7-0, with Lionel Messi breaking the record for the most goals scored for the Argentina national team with 102 in a friendly match against Curacao.
Argentina dominated from the start against the 86th-ranked team in the FIFA rankings, holding 60% of possession and taking 23 shots, with 16 of them on target. Curacao only managed four shots, all of which went wide.
Messi completed his hat-trick in the first half, starting with the opening goal in the 20th minute. After receiving a pass from Giovani Lo Celso, Messi turned past a defender and then scored with his right foot into the near corner. This was Messi’s 100th goal for Argentina, making him the first player in the history of the white and blue team to reach this milestone.
In the 33rd minute, Messi received a pass from Nicolas Gonzalez inside the box, evaded a Curacao defender, and then scored with his left foot into the far corner. Four minutes later, he completed his hat trick. This time, after another pass from Lo Celso, the Argentina captain ran down and scored into the bottom right corner in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Eloy Room.
Messi’s three latest goals brought his record-breaking tally for the national team to 102. He is more than 46 goals ahead of the second-placed Gabriel Batistuta, with Sergio Aguero, another former striker, ranking third with 41 goals.
In between Messi’s three goals were two more goals from his teammates. Nicolas Gonzalez, who missed the 2022 World Cup due to injury, headed in a rebound to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute after a Curacao defender blocked his initial header.
The remaining goal in the first half was a long-range screamer by Enzo Fernandez. After Messi’s shot from 18 meters was saved in the 35th minute, the 22-year-old midfielder, who plays in the English Premier League, struck a powerful shot past goalkeeper Room. This was his second goal for the Argentina national team, with his first being a curled effort in the 2-0 win over Mexico at the 2022 World Cup.
After leading by five goals in the first half, coach Lionel Scaloni quickly substituted Nicolas Otamendi, Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Lautaro Martinez, and Lo Celso. However, the substitutes still maintained good pressure on the Curacao defense.
The referee awarded a penalty to Argentina in the 78th minute, but Messi passed the opportunity to Di Maria. The Juventus star completed the task from the spot to increase the score to 6-0.
The match ended with a seventh goal in the 87th minute, as Gonzalo Montiel easily tapped in a cross from the left flank by Dybala. At the World Cup, Montiel was the player who took the decisive penalty kick in the shootout that secured a 4-2 victory for Argentina in the final.
This was Argentina’s second friendly match after the 2023 World Cup. Previously, on March 23, Messi and his teammates defeated Panama 2-0. Argentina will also play a friendly match against Cameroon in Bangladesh in June before starting the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign in the South American region in September.
So, Messi has a total of 102 goals for the Argentina national team and is only 7 goals behind the record set by Iranian legend Ali Daei (109 goals). More importantly, Messi is only 20 goals behind his arch-rival Ronaldo in the race for “Most International Goals Scored” in the history of world football.
The Portuguese superstar scored 4 goals during the national team training in March, with Luxembourg and Liechtenstein being their opponents in the EURO 2024 qualifiers. However, Ronaldo needs to be extremely cautious as Messi’s recent form for the national team has been truly impressive.
The 35-year-old superstar has scored 21 goals in his last 14 appearances for the Argentina national team. If this goal-scoring trend continues, the 20-goal gap can be easily bridged. The important thing is that Messi has shown that he can still play at his peak for the next 2-3 years, while Ronaldo is already 38 years old and may struggle to maintain his form in the coming years.
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