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Lionel Messi scored another sensational goal in his 55th career hat-trick as Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in the early hours of Friday morning.
Having experienced an eventful international break that included being on the receiving end of a horrendous tackle against Venezuela and then venting when the clash with Brazil was suspended due to health officials storming the pitch, it was Messi's supreme talents that were the talking point again this time around.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner opened the scoring 14 minutes into the game at the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti Stadium in Buenos Aires.
It was the first of three goals for La Albiceleste's captain and talisman and easily the best of the bunch on the evening.
MESSI IS OUTRAGEOUS MAN! WHAT THE HELL 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6wvNyP0Evv— mx (SUSPENDED) (@MessiMX30i) September 9, 2021
Messi’s goal from this angle is truly art 😍— MC (@CrewsMat10) September 9, 2021
Messi received the ball in between the lines and immediately slid the ball through an opponent's legs before taking one touch to set himself and then nonchalantly curling one into the top corner.
It was an archetypal Messi goal, the deft skill followed by the outrageous pinpoint finish from outside of the box.
There's one camera angle in particular, from behind the goal, that makes the piece of play look even more magical.
The goal saw Messi draw level with Pele on 77 international goals but he moved pass the Brazilian icon's goals tally to become the all-time leading South American goalscorer.
He added a further two in the second half to take his tally to 79.
Messi's PSG teammate Neymar is third on the list with 68 goals, his latest strike coming in a 2-0 win over Peru.
Messi has officially surpassed Pele as the all time South American top scorer 🔝🐐 pic.twitter.com/NfCd4gfFDw— Everything Messi™ (@EverythingLM10_) September 10, 2021
In another incredible record, Messi has also become the first player to score a hat-trick in 14 different calendar years.
After the Messi masterclass, Lionel Scaloni's side celebrated the recent Copa America triumph with the 20,000 fans that were in attendance in the Argentine capital.
Leo Messi and the Argentina national team finally got to celebrate their Copa America trophy in front of their fans in Buenos Aires 💙 pic.twitter.com/6xMkvc0ruv— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 10, 2021
Shortly after the game, Messi and teammates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes hopped on a place back to Paris.
Mauricio Pochettino's side host Clermont Foot at the Parc Des Princes on Saturday and it would be quite the turnaround for Messi to start the fixture given the time difference.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Twitter
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