Lionel Messi hopes “the madness will never end” after scoring his 100th goal and ninth cap-trick for the national team amid celebrations of Argentina’s return to the World Cup on Tuesday.
Albiceleste thrashed Curaçao 7-0 in Santiago del Estero and Messi, who started the game in the 20th minute, scored his 100th international goal, joined only by Cristiano Ronaldo (122) and Ali Daei (109).
Messi became the first world champion to score 100 goals for the national team, and he was not going to stop there, scoring another treble in the first half, taking it to 102 goals.
A milestone came when Argentina ended their first two games at home after their December World Cup triumph with wild celebrations, initially in Buenos Aires when they beat Panama 2-0 on Thursday.
The players imitated their celebration in Qatar after the game in Curaçao by lifting the World Cup trophy again after it descended from the roof of the stadium and did a lap of honor to greet the fans.
Argentine Football Association president Claudio Tapia also presented Messi with a plaque in recognition of his 100th goal.
“What a good way to close these dates that impress all the people in Santiago del Estero today,” Messi wrote on Instagram.
“I wish that we could continue to share many of these moments together and that this craziness never ends!!!”
Messi’s accomplishment came after he scored 21 goals in 14 games for Argentina, along with seven assists. This led to him scoring 156 goals, the most in international football.
Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni added: “As for Lionel Messi, I want him to be on the pitch and be happy.”
He added: “These days were different from previous friendlies because the players were allowed to be with their people.
“We felt that they had a desire to get in touch with the outside world, although that meant it was difficult to prepare these two games. But in the end we got over them by playing with intensity.”
— Selection Argentina (@Argentina) March 29, 2023