SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, Argentina – Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick for Argentina and surpassed 100 career goals in the first half of Tuesday’s international friendly against Curacao. The World Cup winners beat the Caribbean 7-0 in their second game since winning the trophy in December.
Messi, 35, opened the scoring against Curacao in the 20th minute with a right-footed strike to reach the 100-goal milestone. Nico Gonzalez added another goal three minutes later.
Then in the 33rd minute, Messi scored his 101st for Argentina with a cross to the goalkeeper’s right and his 102nd after an easy point. Two minutes earlier he assisted Enzo Fernandez’s blast from the edge of the box.
The Argentina captain is trailed by only two players on the list of top goalscorers for national teams in official competitions; Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 122 points and Iran’s Ali Dei has scored 109 points.