Lionel Messi scored all five Argentina goals in a 5-0 friendly win over Estonia, overtaking Hungary’s great Ferenc Puskás among the all-time international men’s top scorers.
The former Barcelona player got to shine once more on Spanish soil in a match played on Sunday at El Sadar in the northern city of Pamplona, 430km from what for 21 years he called home.
Messi became the first man to score five times in a European Cup or Champions League match and in an international game at senior level. He previously found the back of the net five times 10 years ago, when Barcelona hammered Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 in the Champions League last 16 second leg at the Camp Nou.
Messi, who has scored 86 times in 162 games for Argentina, opened the scoring with a penalty in the eighth minute when he waited for the goalkeeper, Matvei Igonen, to commit before firing into the bottom right corner.
The 34-year-old Paris Saint-Germain player doubled Argentina’s lead just before half-time and added another goal two minutes into the second half. He sealed the win with two more strikes in the 71st and 76th minutes.
The Argentina captain went past the mark set by Puskás, the former Hungary and – on four occasions – Spain forward, who scored 84 goals in 89 games.
Messi is three goals behind the former Malaysia forward Mokhtar Dahari, who is third on the all-time list. Iran’s Ali Daei (109) is second and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo first with 117 goals. Ronaldo scored two in Sunday’s 4-0 defeat of Switzerland.