Dhaka – Lionel Messi has become just the second Argentina player in history to score 50 international goals after netting against Bolivia on Wednesday.
Messi, 28, struck in the 30th minute of the 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes to reach the half-century for the Albiceleste — a feat only ever achieved before by Gabriel Batistuta, reports espnfc.com.
The Barcelona star, who has helped Argentina to World Cup and Copa America finals over the past two years, found his 50th goal in his 107th appearance for his national side.
Former Fiorentina and Roma man Batistuta finished up his international career with 54 goals in 78 games, meaning Messi is closing in on the all-time record — he now sits a clear fourth on the all-time caps list with 107 after overtaking Diego Simeone on Wednesday.
Messi now needs to find the back of the net just once more to reach 500 career goals for club and country, having scored 449 for Barca and 50 Argentina.
He has made a total of 627 appearances to date — 520 of those coming in a Barca shirt and 107 in an Argentina jersey.
Messi’s next opportunity to score his 500th career goal after the Bolivia clash comes on Saturday in La Liga when the Blaugrana host rivals Real Madrid in the Clasico. – AP/UNB