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On the day that Lionel Messi surpassed Javier Mascherano's record of 147 appearances for Argentina, the Barça striker helped himself to two goals and also created another against Bolivia in the albiceleste's 4-1 victory in their final fixture of Group A in the Copa América which books a place in the quarter final against Ecuador.
On top from start
Lionel Scaloni's team dominated right from the off and after just six minutes Alejandro Gómez volleyed home a pass from captain Messi to put Argentina in front. On the half hour mark Papu Gómez was brought down in the area and Messi stepped up to convert the penalty to double his team's lead. The best, however, was yet to come.
Three minutes before half time Barça's new signing 'Kun' Agüero lifted a perfect ball over the top for Messi to lob the ball over keeper Carlos Lampe to leave Argentina 3-0 up at half time in the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá, Brazil.
In the second half Saavedra pulled one back for Bolivia on the hour mark but Lautaro Martínez's goal five minutes later put the result beyond doubt. The 4-1 win leaves Argentina top of their group and sets up a quarter final against Ecuador who finished fourth in Group B with the game to be played on Saturday in Goiania, kick off 10.00pm local time.
Record evening for Leo and 'Kun'
The victory against and man of the match performance also marked Leo Messi's 148th appearance in an Argentina shirt, moving past the record held by his former Barça team mate Javier Mascherano.
Since his debut for the national team back in August 2005 against Hungary in Budapest, the Barça number 10 has now scored 75 goals with his double against Bolivia with his assist in the same game bringing that total to 44. The Argentine now holds the appearance record for both club and country after moving past Xavi Hernández's record of 767 games for Barça back in March of this year.
👏¡FELICITACIONES, LEO!— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 29, 2021
Messi alcanzó 148 partidos con 🇦🇷@Argentina, de los cuales 31 han sido en CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica, y se convirtió en el jugador con más presencias en la historia de la Albiceleste
¡Qué orgullo que sigas rompiendo récords en esta Copa!🏆#VibraElContinente pic.twitter.com/o55pohxG86
It was also a special evening for Messi's Barça team mate Sergio 'Kun' Agüero. The blaugranes' new signing made his 100th appearance for Argentina and celebrated with a wonderful assist for Messi's second goal.
The striker has scored 41 goals for the national side since making his debut against Brazil back in September 2006 and joins an exclusive '100 club' which contains Messi (148), Mascherano (147), Javier Zanetti (143), Roberto Ayala (114), Ángel di Maria (107) and Diego Simeone (103).
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