Lionel Messi becomes the most equalized Argentine of all time

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has become the most leveled player in Argentina’s history after making his 148th appearance for his country in Tuesday’s 4-1 knockout of Bolivia.

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The 34-year-old matched Javier Mascherano’s record last week and made it his own in an emphatic way against Bolivia and scored two goals and help to keep his team top in Group A in this summer’s Copa America.

Messi started proceedings with a wonderful swing for Papu Gomez’s opening goal, and he got himself on point from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark after a foul on Gomez.

The Barcelona man saved the best for last and added his second with a beautiful half volley chip over Carlos Lampe to give La Albiceleste an impressive lead before the break.

Erwin Saavedra pulled one back after half-time, but substitute Lautaro Martinez fired immediately to seal a routine victory.

? ??? ???????? Leo #Messi has now become the player who has the most appearances with the national team in @Argentina (148).

A TRUE LEGEND, LEO! CONGRATULATIONS! # CopaAmerica2021 pic.twitter.com/j85dY6lVxT

– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 28 June 2021

It was also the first time in 17 matches that Messi had drawn twice in a single game for his country – a run that stretched back to a friendly match against Nicaragua in June 2019.

Messi took his international competition to 75 goals and moved him ahead of Indian legend Sunil Chhetri to ninth on the men’s soccer rankings, currently led by the 109 goals for both Cristiano Ronaldo and former Iran forward Ali Daei.

The 34-year-old will now aim to break more records before this tournament ends.

# CopaAmérica?

Elite level! The double Agüero ?? Messi nos dejó is this fantastic goal to score?

?? Bolivia? Argentina ?? # VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/BgGfawBfKk

– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 29, 2021

Should Argentina reach either the final or third place in the play-offs (and provided Messi plays in every game), he would break the record for most appearances in the Copa America.

Chile goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone managed 34 between 1941 and 1953, so Messi only needs three more excursions to tie that honor and would need to play in the 2024 tournament to make it his own.

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