Lionel Messi and his teammate Rodrigo De Paul hold the Copa America trophy. PA
Gulf Today Report
Football maestro Lionel Messi broke football legend PelÃ©’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 PelÃ©’s goal for Brazil by 77.
Messi equaled PelÃ© 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.
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.