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Lionel Messi topples BIG records while scoring hattrick against Bolivia, in pics

Argentine star Lionel Messi became the top international goal scorer in South American history, overtaking Brazil's Pele. The 34-year-old netted all the goals at Argentina's 3-0 win against Bolivia in World Cup qualifying on Thursday, and now has 79 for the national team. Messi scored his goals in 153 caps for Argentina, while Pele netted his 77 in 92 official matches for Brazil. We look at the collection of records that Lionel Messi broke in these pictures.

Lionel Messi had lost 4 major finals before winning Copa America 2021

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Prior to the Copa America 2021 victory, Lionel Messi had lost four major finals with Argentina's senior side. (Photo: Reuters)

Prior to the Copa America 2021 victory, Lionel Messi had lost four major finals with Argentina's senior side. They were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and had lost in the final at the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Lionel Messi is also Argentina leading goalscorer

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Lionel Messi is also his Argentina's all-time leading scorer, having moved past Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) in 2016. (Photo: PTI)

Lionel Messi is also his Argentina's all-time leading scorer, having moved past Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) in 2016. He is also Argentina's most capped player, with Thursday's match against Bolivia marking his 153rd international appearance. (Photo: PTI)

Lionel also went past Luis Suarez

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Lionel Messi has 26 goals in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, surpassing Uruguay star Luis Suarez - his former teammate at Barcelona - for most among CONMEBOL players. (Source: Twitter)

Lionel Messi has 26 goals in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, surpassing Uruguay star Luis Suarez - his former teammate at Barcelona - for most among CONMEBOL players. (Source: Twitter)

Lionel Messi is the highest South American goalscorer

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Lionel Messi has 79 international goals for Argentina, the most by a South American footballer. (Photo: PTI)

Lionel Messi has 79 international goals for Argentina, the most by a South American footballer. Messi surpassed Brazilian legend Pele, who had 77 goals. (Photo: PTI)

Lionel Messi scores hattrick against Bolivia

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Argentina captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bolivia in their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match in Buenos Aires. (Source: Twitter)

Argentina captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bolivia in their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match in Buenos Aires. (Source: Twitter)