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Messi overtakes Pele with hat-trick as Argentina beat Bolivia

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Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in Argentina's 3-0 win against Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday, surpassing Pele as South America's all-time leading goal scorer with 79 goals.

After 14 minutes in Buenos Aires, Messi scored the game's first goal, moving around the Bolivian defence before curling the ball into the net from just outside the area.

He made it 2-0 in the 64th minute with a one-two with Lautaro Martinez and brilliant agility in a crowded penalty box, and he completed the hat-trick with two minutes remaining, smashing home a rebound from close range.

His seventh hat-trick for the national team came with goals 77, 78, and 79, putting him two goals ahead of Pele in the South American scoring statistics.

Messi remarked, "I was incredibly nervous, and I really wanted to enjoy it." “I've been waiting for this for a long time, I went for it, and I've dreamed about it. It's a one-of-a-kind moment because of how it came about after such a long wait.”

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Argentina Bolivian Buenos Aires Lionel Messi Messi

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