Argentina’s Unbeaten Streak Now Stands At 33 Games


Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored five goals in a 5-0 international friendly win over Estonia, extending their unbeaten streak to 33 games.

In Pamplona, Spain, Messi scored twice in the first half, including a penalty, and three times after the break to achieve 86 international goals. He surpassed Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas’ 84 goals to become the fourth-highest goal scorer for a national team in men’s soccer.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal tops the list with 117 goals, including two in Portugal’s 4-0 Nations League thrashing of Switzerland. Ali Daei of Iran comes in second with 109 goals, followed by Mokhtar Dahari of Malaysia with 89.

Argentina Laid Down The World Cup Marker 

Messi had never previously scored five goals for Argentina at the senior level. In the 2011-12 Champions League round of 16, he scored five goals for Barcelona in a 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Messi, on the other hand, has become the first player in history to exceed 1100 goals and assists, with 769 goals and 331 assists spread between 974 club and international appearances.

Argentina defeated Italy 3-0 in the first Finalissima encounter of the South American and European champions last week, with the 34-year-old providing two assists. He helped Argentina win the Copa America last year, which was his first big trophy with the national team. Messi started with a penalty against Estonia in the eighth minute and increased La Albiceleste’s lead before the break.

Messi scored two minutes into the second half for Lionel Scaloni’s team, then added two more goals in 71 and 76 minutes. Scaloni was at a loss for words after the friendly, comparing Messi, who is 35 in just over a fortnight, to Rafael Nadal, who won his 14th French Open title on the same day after turning 36 on Friday.

Argentina will play in Group C at the World Cup later this year when they will face Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia, for whom Messi has recently become a tourist ambassador.

Prior to the FIFA World Cup, Messi is expected to continue his club career at Paris Saint-Germain, where he still has one season left on a two-year contract inked when he left Barcelona as a free agent last summer.