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Lionel Messi scores five goals and equals 81-year-old record as Argentina thrash Estonia

Posted on June 06, 2022

Lionel Messi moved onto 86 international goals in his 162nd match and matched a national record as Argentina thrashed Estonia 5-0 in a friendly match on Sunday night.

Lionel Messi scored all five goals as Argentina hammered Estonia 5-0 in a friendly on Sunday evening.

Messi continued his hot streak for his nation, adding a fantastic five to Argentina’s victory over Italy in the Finalissima on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium. The 34-year-old was the creative maestro at Wembley, setting up two of Argentina’s three goals, but he turned goal scorer against Estonia to move onto 86 international goals in his 162nd match.

The Paris Saint-Germain star opened the score with an eighth-minute penalty in Spain and had completed his hat-trick by the 47th minute. That was Messi’s eighth international hat-trick for Argentina, but it was to get better for the playmaker.

He added another two strikes in the 71st and 76th minute to reach five goals in a single game for just the second time in his career, matching his effort in Barcelona ’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012.

Messi’s efforts also matched the best goal scoring performance for Argentina in a single match. He was already well clear at the top of the charts as Argentina’s record goal scorer and he has now matched Manuel Seoane in 1925 and Juan Marvezzi in 1941 by netting five times in a game.

Former England striker Gary Lineker paid tribute to Messi with a gushing tweet . “The extraordinary Lionel Messi has scored all 5 of Argentina’s goals tonight,” Lineker wrote. “Astonishingly, it’s not his goal scoring that elevates him from the other greats. He’s also as good a passer and dribbler as anyone that’s ever played the game. The Messiah.”

Messi is the fourth highest international goal scorer in world football, behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (115), Iran’s Ali Daei (109) and Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari (89). Ronaldo has added to his personal tally by scoring twice for Portugal in the first half of their Nations League tie against Switzerland on Sunday night.

Unsurprisingly it was one-way traffic in the friendly between FIFA’s fourth best side in the world and Estonia, who are ranked 108th, with Messi’s side having 79 per cent of the possession and completing a whopping 918 passes to their opponents’ 240. Argentina fired 24 shots at Estonia’s goal, with 10 on target.

Messi played up front alongside new Manchester City signing Julian Alvarez and Juan Correa, with Rodrigo de Paul, Alexis Mac Allister and Papu Gomez in midfield as manager Lionel Scaloni rotated his side.

Messi has won just about every competition going, but he has one trophy yet to land in his huge collection. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year is likely to be the former Barcelona star’s last chance to win the famous trophy and he is determined to make the most of it .

"We keep growing, that's what we are looking for,” he said this week. “We are working on a day by day basis in order to improve further. We continue to say that we are not the top favourites, but we will put up a fight against anyone, because this group is hopeful, it has clear goals.

"We must keep improving. Now we have important matches in September, we need to work and improve in order to arrive the best way possible at our World Cup debut."

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