Home Sport ‘Greatest on this planet’: Lionel Messi joins elite worldwide membership

‘Greatest on this planet’: Lionel Messi joins elite worldwide membership

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‘Greatest on this planet’: Lionel Messi joins elite worldwide membership

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Argentina captain Lionel Messi on Tuesday scored his a centesimal worldwide objective for the reigning world champions as they romped to a 7-0 pleasant win over outclassed Curacao.

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi opened the scoring towards the Caribbean island minnows on 20 minutes in Santiago del Estero.

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It got here 17 years after he opened his Argentina account in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in March 2006.

The 35-year-old quickly added one other simply after the half-hour mark to make it 3-0, after which accomplished his hat-trick on 37 minutes with the fifth as Argentina toyed with their overmatched opponents.

It was his seventh hat-trick for the nationwide workforce.

“You can’t describe Messi in phrases,” mentioned fellow goalscorer Nicolas Gonzalez.

“He’s one of the best on this planet and he exhibits it match after match, day after day. Each time he touches the ball, he makes you smile.”

Messi got here into the sport not simply as his nation’s all-time report goalscorer, however with extra objectives than the following two high marksmen — Gabriel Batistuta on 56 and Sergio Aguero with 41 — put collectively.

This was Argentina’s second match since successful the World Cup in dramatic fashion towards France in Qatar in December — triumphing 4-2 on penalties after an exciting 3-3 draw — and it was all the time going to be about Messi reaching 100 objectives.

Now with 102, he stays third within the all-time listing, behind nice rival Cristiano Ronaldo (122) of Portugal and Iran’s Ali Daei (109).

Messi had come up quick on Thursday final week when he notched his 99th objective for the Albiceleste as Argentina toiled of their homecoming celebration match towards Panama.

The Central People had held out till the 78th minute earlier than 21-year-old MLS sensation Thiago Almada broke their resistance.

Messi then scored direct from a free-kick a minute from time — his 800th objective in skilled soccer — in entrance of 83,000 delirious followers in Buenos Aires.

Curacao, ranked 86th by world governing physique FIFA, may solely maintain out for 20 minutes earlier than Messi took a cross from Giovanni Lo Ceslo, reduce inside his marker onto his weaker proper foot and fired a low shot into the underside nook.

The referee was then seen on stay tv throwing the ball to somebody on the facet of the pitch as DirecTV commentators speculated that it was heading “straight to the museum.” Three minutes later Gonzalez outjumped goalkeeper Eloy Room to go residence from 4 yards.

Gonzalez turned supplier as Messi scored the primary of three objectives in 4 minutes, this time along with his left foot.

He then laid off the ball for Enzo Fernandez to make it 4 with a shot from distance earlier than Lo Celso launched Messi behind the defence to notch his treble.

Argentina took their foot off the gasoline within the second half, with solely a generously-awarded Angel Di Maria penalty and close-range end from Gonzalo Montiel including to the rating.

However the 42,000 followers current remained in occasion temper all through, ready for his or her heroes to carry the World Cup trophy in entrance of them.

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