Breaking down Lionel Messi’s 100 Argentina goals

Breaking down Lionel Messi’s 100 Argentina goals

Sports Mole breaks down Lionel Messi’s 100 international goals after he brings up his century in Tuesday’s 7-0 friendly victory over Panama.

On the face of it, two international friendlies against Panama and Curacao will not feature in the highlights of Messi’s illustrious career.

However, the 35-year-old has reached two major milestones during the international period, where Argentina also celebrated their 2022 World Cup success in front of their own supporters.

Messi found the net from a direct free kick in the 89th minute of Thursday’s 2-0 victory over Panama, representing his 800th career goal for club and country.

The Argentine reached another notable landmark on Tuesday night, scoring his 100th international goal to open the scoring against Curacao.

Messi went on to wrap up a hat-trick within 17 minutes, as Argentina cruised to a commanding 7-0 victory.

Here, Sports Mole commemorates the remarkable achievement by breaking down Messi’s century of international goals.



Argentina forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring their sixth goal on June 16, 2006© Reuters

In just his sixth international appearance, Messi made his mark for Argentina, scoring in a 3-2 friendly defeat to Croatia.

Argentina fell behind in the third minute, but within 60 seconds, Messi provided the assist for Carlos Tevez to tap home the equaliser.

Two minutes later, the boy from Rosario was able to celebrate a goal of his own, cutting inside onto his left foot before driving the ball home from the edge of the box.

Incidentally, the contest is also remembered for Luka Modric‘s debut, and his Croatian side managed to turn the friendly around to claim a narrow victory.

50TH GOAL – BOLIVIA (MARCH 30, 2016)

rgentina midfielder Lionel Messi (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the first half against the United States in the semifinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at NRG Stadium© Reuters

Ten years after scoring his first senior goal in an Argentina shirt, Messi was celebrating his 50th goal for his country.

Messi missed Argentina’s opening four qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup through injury, but he returned to face Chile and Bolivia.

He was unable to find the net in a 2-1 win over Chile, but just days later, he netted the second goal in a 2-0 victory against Bolivia at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes.

Ever Banega was brought down in the box, and from the subsequent spot kick, Messi kept his composure to bring up his half-century of international goals.

100TH GOAL – CURACAO (MARCH 29, 2023)

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal on March 23, 2023© Reuters

After scoring his first and 50th international goals in March, it only seemed fitting that Messi registered his 100th Argentina strike in the same month.

In the 20th minute against Curacao, Messi cleverly chopped the ball onto his right boot before firing past Eloy Room.

Goals 101 and 102 quickly followed alongside efforts from Nico Gonzalez and Enzo Fernandez to establish a five-goal lead by half time, before Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Montiel grabbed a goal apiece after the break to round off the 7-0 demolition.

Messi has now become just the third player after Iran’s Ali Daei and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo to register a century of goals in men’s international football.


Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal on December 18, 2022© Reuters

The Argentine’s 26 major tournament goals are split evenly between the Copa America and the World Cup.

Messi lifted his first major trophy for his country in 2021 when he scored four goals in seven games as Argentina went on to beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final thanks to Di Maria’s winner.

In December last year, the 35-year-old ticked off the major honour that had alluded him for the duration of his career, as he played a starring role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph at the 2022 tournament.

Messi found the net in six of his country’s seven matches in Qatar, including a brace in the final against France, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

In the subsequent penalty shootout, Messi expertly dealt with the pressure to dispatch Argentina’s first spot kick, before Paulo Dybala, Leandro Paredes and Montiel followed suit to secure Argentina’s third World Cup trophy.


Lionel Messi in action for Argentina on September 10, 2021© Reuters

Seven years since making his debut, Messi produced his first Argentina hat-trick, scoring all three goals in a 3-1 friendly victory over Switzerland in February 2012.

In the 11 years that have followed, the Barcelona legend has managed to rack up eight more hat-tricks in the famous Argentina jersey.

Five of his international hat-tricks have taken place in friendlies, including a memorable 4-3 victory over Argentina’s biggest rivals Brazil in June 2012.

Although Messi has been unable to register three goals in a World Cup game, he has achieved the feat in qualifying matches against Ecuador and Bolivia.

Messi’s only hat-trick at a major tournament took place in the centenary edition of the Copa America in 2016 when he played a leading role in a dominant 5-0 group-stage win over Panama.


Lionel Messi warms up for Argentina on November 22, 2022© Reuters

In June 2022, Messi became the first Argentina player since 1942 to rack up five goals in a single game, securing his nation a 5-0 victory over Estonia in a friendly.

Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before adding a second on the stroke of half time with a powerful left-footed finish.

Within two minutes of the restart, Argentina’s all-time top scorer coolly guided home Nahuel Molina‘s cross to round off his hat-trick.

Two more goals were added in the final 20 minutes, ensuring that Messi became the first player to score five goals in both a Champions League and an international fixture.

Impressively, he previously achieved the feat in the second leg of Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012, guiding his side to an emphatic 7-1 victory.

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