SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, Argentina (AP) — Lionel Messi scored a hat trick and surpassed 100 career goals for Argentina with three in the first half of Tuesday’s international friendly against Curacao. The World Cup winners beat the Caribbean side 7-0 in their second match since clinching the trophy in December.
The 35-year-old Messi opened the scoring against Curacao in the 20th minute with a right-foot shot from the edge of the box to reach the 100-goal milestone. Nico Gonzalez added another three minutes later with a header from close range.
Messi then scored his 101st for Argentina in the 33rd minute with a crossed shot to the right of the goalkeeper and his 102nd in the 37th after an easy run to score. Two minutes earlier he had assisted Enzo Fernandez’ blast from the edge of the box.
The Argentine captain trails only two players on the list of most goals scored for national teams in official matches; Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with 122, and Iran’s Ali Daei, with 109.
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