More goals than Pele, an 81-year-old record broken and leaving Batistuta, Aguero and Maradona in the dust: The staggering stats keep piling up for Lionel Messi after his five-goal masterclass for Argentina
- Lionel Messi scored five goals in a friendly against Estonia on Sunday
- He now has more career goals than the legendard Brazilian striker Pele
- He also became the first player in 81 years to score five goals for Argentina
- Messi has extended his record over Gabriel Batistuta, Sergio Aguero and Diego Maradona in the all-time Argentina goalscoring charts
Lionel Messi was at his imperious best on Sunday as he scored all five goals in Argentina’s 5-0 win against Estonia to send more records tumbling.
Lionel Scaloni named a strong starting XI with Messi included, and the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was certainly in the mood to improve his staggering statistics on the international stage.
The 34-year-old opened his account in the eighth minute from the penalty spot, and added a second on the stroke of half time.
Lionel Messi scored five goals in an international friendly against Estonia on Sunday
Messi netted his first goal of the match from the penalty spot in Pamplona
He went on to deliver a masterclass, scoring four more times before the final whistle
He completed his hat-trick two minutes after the interval, before scoring twice more in the final 20 minutes.
It has been reported by Argentine journalist Roy Nemer that Messi now has 1100 goal contributions in his illustrious career, having racked up 769 goals and 331 assists in 974 appearances.
His goals helped Argentina extend their unbeaten run to 33 matches, leaving them just four behind Italy’s international record of 37 matches without defeat.
Sportsmail has taken a look at Messi’s mind-boggling numbers following his latest match-winning display…
The diminutive playmaker now has 769 career goals to his name, taking him past Pele.
According to FIFA statistics, Pele netted 767 times in his remarkable career that saw him win three World Cups between 1958 and 1970.
Messi entered Sunday’s match three goals behind the Brazilian icon, but it took him just 47 minutes to move level with Pele, and he scored twice more before the final whistle to go ahead of the former striker.
Messi has also extended his record when it comes to being the highest-scoring player for a South American nation, having scored 86 goals for his country.
Pele scored 77 goals for Brazil during his 14 years with the national team, but having gone past this record last year, Messi is now nine clear of Pele.
Messi has now scored more career goals than Pele (pictured), and extended his record as the player to score the most goals for a South American nation
Messi has also now scored more international goals than Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas
Messi moved past another legendary forward in the record books as well on Sunday, as he overtook Ferenc Puskas on the all-time list for international goals.
Puskas was part of the iconic Hungarian side that made the 1954 World Cup final, and he scored 84 goals for his country, but he has now dropped below Messi in the standings.
Messi is now fourth on the list, and just three goals behind Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari.
Messi broke an 81-year record on Sunday, becoming the first Argentine player to score five goals in a single match since 1941.
Juan Marvezzi was the last player to achieve this feat for Argentina, back in the 1941 Copa America against Ecuador. If anyone was going to end that long run, it was going to be Messi, and he duly did against Estonia.
He is also the first player in history to score five goals in a European Cup match and an international fixture.
Messi scored five goals in a Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012
His five goals against Estonia means he is now the only player to score five times in European Cup and international matches
Back in 2012, Messi scored five goals in a Champions League round of 16 encounter against Bayer Leverkusen. 10 years on, he was at it again.
Messi moved further clear at the top of Argentina’s all-time goalscoring charts.
After taking his personal tally to 86 goals, he has now scored 31 goals more than his closest challenger, Gabriel Batistuta.
Gabriel Batistuta scored 55 goals for Argentina, but that still leaves him 31 behind Messi
Meanwhile, Messi is 45 goals clear of former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, and 52 goals ahead of Diego Maradona.
Messi’s record for number of international caps for Argentina looks pretty safe as well.
Messi’s appearance on Sunday was his 162nd for his country – 15 more than Javier Mascherano. He has 40 more caps than Angel Di Maria, who is the next highest on the list for Argentina out of players who are still active.
He went on to score five goals against Estonia, but this was the 56th hat-trick of Messi’s career.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four more than him, yet 31 of the Portuguese star’s hat-tricks have included at least one penalty. Only 15 of Messi’s 56 hat-tricks have included one penalty or more.
Messi is catching Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to career and international hat-tricks
Messi is closing in on Ronaldo when it comes to hat-tricks at international level.
Ronaldo has 10 to his name for Portugal, with his latest one coming against Luxembourg last year.
Messi is up to eight, and may fancy his chances of overtaking his rival if he can continue his phenomenal form for his country.
One area where Messi clearly has an advantage over Ronaldo is goals in international friendlies.
He showed no mercy against Estonia, and this has been a common trend throughout his career as Messi has scored 39 times in international friendlies. Ronaldo, by comparison, has just 20 goals in friendly fixtures.
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