- PSG new signing Lionel Messi has taken over from legendary Pele on the South American goalscorer's chart
- The six-time Ballon d'Or winner scored three times for Argentine in their World Cup qualifier win over Bolivia
- Messi now has two goals more than the three-time World Cup winner while he continues to work hard to appear in Qatar next year
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to a 3-0 triumph over Bolivia as the race to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup championship continues.
The 34-year-old forward scored all three goals to keep his country second on the log with 18 points after eight games - eight points behind Brazil.
Apart from helping his national team claim maximum points at the end of the game, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner also surpassed legendary Pele's longstanding 77 goals record by a South American player.
Emotions as Messi makes touching statement while celebrating Copa America title in front of Argentina fans
How many international goals does Lionel Messi has now?
The Paris Saint Germain now has 79 international goals to his name but still has a long way catching up with his long time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
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According to GOAL, Brazilian stars Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) are the only players to have more overall international goals than the Argentine who has now risen to the summit of the men's goalscorer chart on the continent.
The Barcelona legend won his first title with his country's senior national team in July and he will hope to add to the tally when he leads them to the 2022 edition of FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Messi names his most difficult trophy
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi ended his long wait for international trophy in the summer after guiding Argentina to Copa America glory.
La Albiceleste emerged victorious in this year's edition of the championship after Angel Di Maria's lone strike in the 22nd minute lifted them over host country Brazil.
Before his eventual success at the national team level, the 34-year-old had featured in four finals of major tournaments but failed to triumph in all.