Santiago del Estero [Argentina], March 29 (ANI): Argentinian maestro Lionel Messi achieved another milestone against Curacao on Wednesday at the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades.
Messi's 37th-minute hat trick took him past the 100-goal mark at the international level. The 35-year-old attacker became the third player to achieve the 100-goal mark after his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo (122) and Iran's Ali Daei (109). Along with this, he is the first South American player to achieve this feat ahead of the likes of Maradona, Pele and Neymar.
He broke the stalemate in the 20th minute of the game with his trademark style to get his 100th goal at the international level. Giovani Lo Celso slipped past the ball to Messi inside the box who made no mistake in finding the bottom corner. Even at the age of 35, Messi's precision to find the goal has not dipped.
Nicoloas Gonzalez got the second goal of the game three minutes later. Messi found the back of the net again ten minutes later to claim his second goal of the game. Argentina didn't put off their foot from the accelerator.
In the next four minutes, Argentina scored twice to make it 4-0 before the halftime mark. Messi scored the fourth goal of the match to claim his ninth hat trick in Argentinian colours. Argentina ended the game with a scoreline of 7-0, ending the endless nightmare of Curacao.
As things stand Messi is in the third position with 102 goals, seven goals behind Iran's Ali Daei and 20 goals behind Portugal's goal-scoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi expressed his happiness with an Instagram post and wrote in the caption, "What a nice way to close these dates, impressive today all the people in Santiago del Estero," Messi wrote on Instagram. "I wish we can continue to share together many moments like these and that this craziness never ends!!!"Messi will now return back to Paris to face Lyon on 3rd April at Parc des Princes. (ANI)