INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

Messi celebrates his 100th goal for Argentina as they defeat Curacao 7-0.

Exclusive to Lionel Messi

The Albiceleste captain netted a hat-trick in their 7-0 friendly win over Curacao. Messi’s 100th goal came 17 years after he opened his Argentina account against Croatia in March 2006 

A new milestone for La Pulga

With a 7-0 friendly victory over Curacao, Argentina captain Lionel Messi has now scored 100 goals for the defending world champions. This was Argentina’s second match since winning the World Cup in Qatar last year. They also defeated Panama 2-0 in a friendly match on Friday, March 24.

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi scored the game’s first goal in 20 minutes in Santiago del Estero on Tuesday. Thereby, bringing his career total to 100 goals. It came 17 years after he opened his Argentina account in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in March 2006. He was put in the middle of the box by Giovani Lo Celso to shoot low and score.

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Shortly after, Nicolas Gonzalez gave the host team a two-goal advantage with a header past Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room. In the 33rd minute, Messi added a second goal with one of his signature curling shots that found the far post.

Messi then set up Enzo Fernandez to fire home from the edge of the box for Argentina’s fourth two minutes later.

La pulga completed his hat-trick on 37 minutes with the fifth goal as Argentina toyed with their outclassed opponents.It was his seventh hat trick for the national team.

In the 78th minute, substitute Angel Di Maria scored from the penalty spot. And three minutes before the end, Gonzalo Montiel, who had scored Argentina’s final penalty to defeat France in the World Cup final, completed the devastation.

Messi trails only two players on the list of most goals scored for national teams in official matches; Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with 122, and Iran’s Ali Daei, with 109

Nicolas Gonzalez on Messi and world cup victory.

“You cannot describe Messi in words”

“He’s the best in the world and he shows it match after match, day after day. Every time he touches the ball, he makes you smile.”

“This is pure joy, we just have to enjoy it. We feel part of this beautiful journey. You have to enjoy the World Cup, it’s something unique, you don’t get to experience it all the time.”

“Missing out on a World Cup is the most difficult thing that can happen to a football player.

It was a difficult process but with the support of my family and friends, I was able to get through it. I am happy and calm to be able to wear this shirt again.”

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