Lionel Messi scored all five goals for Argentina as they continued their fine form by beating Estonia in a friendly match in Pamplona, Spain.
The Argentinians swept Italy 3-0 in the Final – a match between the champions of Europe and South America – on Wednesday.
Messi provided two assists in this game and he was in vintage form again.
He opened the scoring with a penalty, then scored two more goals in each half to complete the rout.
It’s the first time the 34-year-old has scored five goals in a game for his country. In fact, he only achieved the feat once in his career, in a Barcelona win 7-1 against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in 2012.
His third against Estonia, two minutes after half-time, took him level with 84 goals, with Ferenc Puskas the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of men’s international football.
Fourteen minutes later his fourth of the match meant he had passed the legendary Hungarian and now sits in that position, behind only Malaysian Mokhtar Dahari (89), Iranian Ali Daei (109) and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (117) .
He would have been even closer to Ronaldo, but the Portuguese scored twice in his country’s Nations League victory over Switzerland on Sunday.
Messi’s goals in Pamplona demonstrated his wide range of skills.
He put Lionel Scaloni’s side ahead with a calm penalty after eight minutes and then doubled the advantage with a powerful side-footed effort into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
His third was a predatory finish, showing his trademark accuracy to head Nahuel Molina’s right wing cross into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
His fourth owes much to his quick-wittedness. As other players stopped and anticipated a free kick that never came, Messi picked up a loose ball, entered the box, produced a dummy that left the Estonian keeper and a defender lying in the floor and rolled the ball into the empty net. .
He capped off his standout performance when he was again quickest to react to a loose ball and slotted into a low finish from outside the penalty spot with 14 minutes remaining.
Although Estonia did not provide the toughest tests, this result – coupled with victory over Italy, their unbeaten World Cup qualifying campaign and the Copa America triumph last year – suggests Messi could still have a big chance of winning the World Cup, the only trophy. which eluded him in his brilliant career.
- 26MolinaReplaced byMontielat 74′minutes
- 16MartinezReplaced bySenesiat 62′minutes
- 8AcunaReplaced byGonzalezat 73′minutes
- sevenfrom PaulReplaced byPalaceat 62′minutes
- 5Mac AllisterReplaced byFoythat 66′minutes
- 19CorreaReplaced byDybalaat 62′minutes
- 11Di Maria
- 20Lo Celso
- 16PurgeReplaced byKuuskat 63′minutes
- 21MillerReplaced byVassiljevat 63′minutes
- 4KaitReplaced bySinyavskyat 63′minutes
- 3pikReplaced byKallasteat 69′minutes
- tenZenjovReplaced byAnierat 45′minutes
- 9SorgaReplaced byKirsat 83′minutes
Match ends, Argentina 5, Estonia 0.
Second Half ends, Argentina 5, Estonia 0.
Failed attempt. Lionel Messi (Argentina) left footed from outside the box is close but misses the left top corner with a direct free kick.
Paulo Dybala (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ken Kallaste (Estonia).
Coin, Argentina. Corner conceded by Taijo Teniste.
Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Argentina) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Papu Gómez.
Coin, Argentina. Corner conceded by Matvei Igonen.
Attempt saved. Papu Gómez (Argentina) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box sees his shot blocked. Assisted by Exequiel Palacios.
Papu Gómez (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Taijo Teniste (Estonia).
Coin, Argentina. Corner conceded by Karol Mets.
Attempt blocked. Paulo Dybala (Argentina) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked.
Replacement, Estonia. Robert Kirss replaces Erik Sorga.
Foul by Papu Gómez (Argentina).
Erik Sorga (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Vlasiy Sinyavskiy (Estonia) right footed shot to the left of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Ken Kallaste.
Juan Foyth (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Henri Anier (Estonia).
Objective! Argentina 5, Estonia 0. Lionel Messi (Argentina) shoots with a left footed shot from the center of the box to the center of the goal.