Lionel Messi overtakes Diego Maradona with hat-trick to become third-highest goal scorer for Argentina
Barcelona forward nets three times in 4-0 friendly win over Guatemala
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in Argentina’s 4-0 victory over Guatemala to take his goal record to 35 and surpass Diego Maradona’s international tally.
The Barcelona forward appeared as a substitute in the recent World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Ecuador, but he was given a starting berth alongside many fringe players in what was a second-string side for the Argentinians.
Messi opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area, and he got an assist when Augusto Fernandez got onto the end of his cross to head in and double their lead in the 35th minute.
Just four minutes later it was 3-0 after Messi converted a penalty to level his record with Maradona’s, and he completed his third hat-trick for his country just four minutes after halftime when Ezequiel Lavezzi crossed the ball low into the box from the right for the Balon d’Or winner to side-foot in.
His previous hat-tricks came last year against Switzerland and Brazil, and he departed in the 67th minute in third on the all-time Argentinian goal scorers list behind Hernan Crespo and record-holder Gabriel Batitusta, who has 56 international goals.
“That was the least important thing,” Messi said when speaking to TyC Sports when asked about overtaking Maradona. “We wanted to play well in this friendly. The team’s attitude was right.”
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich: Why Xabi Alonso is just the sort of player Manuel Pellegrini needs at City
Phil Hughes head injury: Australian batsman critically ill after being hit on head by bouncer
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Lionel Messi transfer news: Manuel Pellegrini dismisses £200m Manchester City move for Barcelona star as 'rumours and only rumours'
Manchester United named Premier League's loudest fans despite late push by Chelsea according to 'Smart Meter' app
- 1 Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
- 2 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film