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.
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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.
LIONEL MESSI HAS SCORED FIVE GOALS IN 76 MINUTES AGAINST ESTONIA. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/wqGpbF3cH2
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 5, 2022
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.
How many goals did you score tonight Lionel? pic.twitter.com/4mfD1RqZQc
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 5, 2022
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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.
Just imagine what Messi's Argentina goal tally would be if he had to play Estonia and the rest every two years in qualifying rather than Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil etc.
— Daniel Edwards 💚 (@DanEdwardsGoal) June 5, 2022
Lionel Messi is the first man to score five goals in a single European Cup / Champions League game AND a senior international game.
It's Lionel Me55i now. pic.twitter.com/iwA3LeL3J3
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 5, 2022
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.
Demasido violento imaginar o Messi a farmar golos contra taxistas, padeiros e agricultores de São Marino, Andorra, Luxemburgo… 200+ golos em jogos internacionais. https://t.co/R2sMUjSVoa
— Manuel Traquete (@Manueltraquete) June 5, 2022
Imagine Messi playing against Luxembourg, Lithuania, Andorra and Moldova etc, Every International Break?
He would've scored 200+ International goals by now.
— MC (@CrewsMate12) June 5, 2022
messi’s stats if he played against european teams his whole career would be ridiculous
— Abbie (@Abbie_Wykex) June 5, 2022
@afa please, can you organise more matches with European teams before the Word Cup? I need Messi to stat pad…!✍️
— Sir Isaac Newton ✍📚 (@chronopedia) June 5, 2022
Argentina vs Moldova
Argentina vs Malta
Argentina vs San Marino
Argentina vs Andorra
Argentina vs Kosovo
Argentina vs Lithuania
Argentina vs Georgia
Argentina vs Belarus
Argentina vs Luxembourg
Argentina vs Finland
How many messi goals????
— zuskyi (@zuskyi) June 5, 2022