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Messi breaks Pele goalscoring record


Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bolivia during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires on Sept 9, 2021. (JUAN IGNACIO RONCORONI / POOL / AFP)

Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored twice to break Pele’s record and become the leading international goalscorer in the history of South American football on Thursday.


The Paris Saint-Germain forward opened the scoring for Argentina in their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires to tie Pele’s mark of 77 international goals.

The 34-year-old then struck his 78th international goal on 64 minutes to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.


Messi’s double came in his 153rd appearance for Argentina.

The former Barcelona star’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo holds the outright record for goals scored in international football with 111 from 180 games.

Thursday’s match in Buenos Aires comes four days after Argentina’s game against Brazil on Sunday was suspended due to a Covid-19 controversy.


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Lionel Messi
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