Messi overtakes Maradona's Argentina tally

The Barcelona star netted three times on Friday to take his haul for the national team to 35 - one more than the Albiceleste legend
Lionel Messi has overtaken Diego Maradona in the Argentina goalscoring charts following his hat-trick in Friday's 4-0 international friendly win over Guatemala.

The Barcelona star opened the scoring after 15 minutes of play with his 33rd goal for the Albiceleste, before equalling Maradona on 34 when he converted a spot kick shortly before the half-time whistle.

His second-half goal made it 4-0 to Argentina and saw him overtake the 52-year-old in the all-time goalscoring charts with his 35th strike.

Nevertheless, Messi has remained calm following his latest achievement and has downplayed the significance of surpassing Maradona.

"Having overtaken Maradona is not important. The main thing was to end this friendly well as a team, which isn't easy ahead of the holidays," the forward told reporters.

Messi's hat-trick saw him move to joint second spot in the Argentina goalscoring charts alongside Hernan Crespo, but he still has a long way to go if he is to become the national team's all-time leading goalscorer as Gabriel Batistuta sits atop with 56 goals.

Player Career Goals Caps Avg/Game
Gabriel Batistuta 1991-2002 56 78 0.718
Hernan Crespo 1995-2007 35 64 0.555
Lionel Messi 2005-present 35 82 0.427
Diego Maradona 1977-1994 34 91 0.374
Luis Artime 1961-1967 24 25 0.960