- Messi hits first-half hat-trick
- Moves past 100 goals for Argentina
- World champions hammer Curacao
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi took just 37 minutes to score a hat-trick in a 7-0 thrashing of Curacao on Tuesday. The goals mean the 35-year-old has become just the third player to hit over a century at international level, joining Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (122) and Iran's Ali Daei (109) in achieving the feat. Messi is also the first male South American player to achieve the landmark.
He opened the scoring in the 20th minute to bring up his 100th goal in trademark style, receiving a pass in the box before slipping past his marker and placing the ball expertly into the bottom corner.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has been enjoying himself back in Argentina as the world champions have celebrated their World Cup triumph on home soil with two friendly matches. The captain scored his 800th career goal for Argentina in a friendly win over Panama last time out and has now joined the 100 club. The Argentina training camp has also been named after Messi to recognise his phenomenal career.
WHAT THEY SAID?: "What a nice way to close these dates, impressive today all the people in Santiago del Estero," Messi wrote on Instagram. "I wish we can continue to share together many moments like these and that this craziness never ends!!!"
DID YOU KNOW? Messi now has 156 goal contributions in 174 games, the most in international football.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGetty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? The Argentine's club future remains uncertain but he will now return to Paris Saint-Germain. Christophe Galtier's side are due back in action against Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday, April 2.