Lionel Messi breaks Pelé’s record for international goals in South America with 3-0 win over Bolivia

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Lionel Messi and his teammate Rodrigo De Paul hold the Copa America trophy. PA

Gulf Today Report

Football maestro Lionel Messi broke football legend Pelé’s record for most goals by a South American footballer at international level.

The Argentine star pulled off the feat with a hat-trick in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on Thursday night.

The star nicknamed “La Pulga” which translates “the chip” scored every goal in Bolivia’s 3-0 home loss to Buenos Aires.

That average has 79 goals for Argentina, which allows them to overtake Pelé’s goal for Brazil by 77.

Messi equaled Pelé when he scored the game’s opening goal in the 14th minute with a shot from outside the box in front of a massive crowd at the Monumental Stadium.

Lionel Messi and his teammates celebrate after winning the match. Reuters

It was in the 64th minute that Leo broke the record by dribbling a defender for his second goal.

He finished in style with a third rebound two minutes from time.

The 34-year-old star who recently moved to Paris Saint-Germain celebrated the Copa America trophy after the game.

It was Messi who led Argentina to their first major title in July with a victory over Brazil in the final.

Messi’s PSG teammate and close friend Neymar sit third on the South American list with 68 goals.

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