10th September, 2021
Argentina captain Lionel Messi broke down in tears as he scored twice to break Pele’s record and become the leading international goalscorer in the history of South American football on Thursday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward opened the scoring for Argentina in their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires to tie Pele’s mark of 77 international goals.
The 34-year-old then struck his 78th international goal on 64 minutes to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.
Messi’s double came in his 153rd appearance for Argentina.
Speaking after the game, Messi said:
“I really wanted to be able to enjoy it.
“I waited a long time for this, I looked for it and I dreamed of it. It’s a unique moment for the way it happened after so much waiting.
“There was no better way to celebrate this than to be here. My mother, my brothers are in the stands… They suffered a lot and today, they are here celebrating. I’m very happy.”
As it stands, only Brazilian stars Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) have scored more overall international goals than the Argentina icon.