Argentina cruised to a 3-0 victory over Bolivia in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier on Thursday, and Messi's hat-trick put him ahead of Pele
His first goal, a curling attempt after a cheeky nutmeg, tied him with Pele on 77 points, before a close-range finish just after the hour created a new record.
On a historic night at the Monumental, he completed his hat-trick with a late goal to bring his total to 79 goals for Argentina.
With La Albiceleste finally able to celebrate their Copa America victory in front of their home fans at full-time in July — their first in 28 years – record-breaker Messi couldn't fight back the tears.
He later remarked on the pitch, "I've dreamed of this for a long time, and I thank God it was given to me."
“It's a one-of-a-kind moment because of how it happened and how long we've been waiting.
“There was no better way for it to happen, and being able to be here, celebrating, is fantastic.
“My mother and brothers are up there,” says the narrator. They had to go through a lot as well. I'm overjoyed.”
It was Messi's seventh hat-trick for Argentina, but his first on home soil, and it meant Argentina's unbeaten run, which began in 2019, was extended to 22 matches.
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