- Lionel Messi grabbed his 55th career hat-trick in Argentina’s 3-0 win over Bolivia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
- The superstar smashed legendary Pele’s record to become the new all-time scorer in South American football with 79 goals
- Pele had claimed that the former Barcelona captain only shoots with one leg, but Messi broke his record with his right foot
The Brazilian football icon had in 2019 criticised the six-time Ballon d’Or winner saying he cannot use his weaker foot, cannot head the ball and only has one trick.
Following controversies on who the greatest player of all time is, Pele had insisted that both himself and Maradona were better players and the pair cannot be compared.
Emotions as Messi makes touching statement while celebrating Copa America title in front of Argentina fans
Pele said in 2019 via GiveMeSport:
Do you have a groundbreaking story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org!
"How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn't head the ball well?
"How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers."
How did Messi smash Pele’s record?
But in the early hours of Friday morning, Messi broke Pele's South American goalscoring record in the World Cup qualifier against Bolivia.
Lionel Messi recorded his 55th career hat-trick in style after powering Argentina to a 3-0 win triumph Bolivia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday, September 10.
The 34-year-old who helped La Albiceleste win their first silverware since the 90s also broke legendary Pele's international goals record during the game.
He now has 79 goals - two more than the Brazilian great as he sits at the summit of South America's goals record chart.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner grabbed the opener in the 14th minute before completing the hattrick in the 64th and 88th minutes respectively.
However, the opener was the best from the Barcelona icon in the game after curling the ball into the left corner of the post from outside the 18-yard box.
La Liga president blasts PSG over Messi and Ramos deal
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that La Liga president Javier Tebas has stated that French club Paris Saint-Germain is as dangerous as the Super League after the Ligue 1 outfit signed Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos.
Tebas branded the French team as the “league of legends” due to the age of both players who left Spanish football during the summer.
The former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi who is 34 years old will earn £53million a year, while ex-Real Madrid defender Ramos, 35, will receive more than £10m a season.