Football News

Lionel Messi fires five goals against Estonia to fly past Ferenc Puskas on all-time scorers list

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 21:18, 5 June 2022

Lionel Messi fired a phenomenal five goals against Estonia to move up to fourth in the all-time men’s international top scorer list.

Fresh off their Finalissima victory where Messi dominated the game with two assists, winning man of the match, Argentina’s captain again took centre-stage in a much-changed Argentina side for a friendly against Estonia.

This time he showed that he hasn’t lost his goalscoring edge, bagging all five of Argentina’s goals as they demolished the European nation 5-0 at Estadio El Sadar in Pamplona.

Those five strikes took him from 81 international goals all the way to 86, leapfrogging Ferenc Puskas who had 84 goals in just 85 caps for Hungary between 1945 and 1956.

Messi now stands as the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of men’s international football with 86 goals in 161 caps. Only Mokhtar Dahari in 89, Ali Daei on 109 and Cristiano Ronaldo on 117 stand above him.

Perhaps it was a return to a La Liga stadium that invigorated Messi. The Argentine has 25 goals against Osasuna including seven at El Sadar itself, and that could explain why he suddenly let rip with his quintent of strikes.

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The goals also made Messi just the third man ever to score five goals in a single game for Argentina, following on from Juan Andrés Marvezzi in 1941 and José Manuel Moreno in 1942. Both men hit their hauls in the Copa America, and amusingly enough both against Ecuador.

Messi bagged his against Estonia, and it left some people asking just how many strikes Messi could have had overall were he able to play these weaker European nations regularly instead of going through perdition’s flames with the South American opponents he usually faces.

Some even hesitated to suggest that the great Argentine would have managed to score more than 200 international goals if he had the good fortune to face the dregs of UEFA on a regular basis.