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Messi: Argentina on track to be best ever

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Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina beat Peru 2-0 away in a South American World Cup qualifier, breaking the all-time record for goals in a World Cup qualifier. Messi, who is the favorite to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or, has scored 31 goals in qualifying, surpassing Luis Suarez’s previous record of 29.

Lionel Messi says the current Argentina team could be the best of all-time after scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Peru to become the top scorer in South American World Cup qualifying history.

Messi, who is one of the favourites for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, scored his 30th and 31st goals World Cup qualifying goals to move past Luis Suarez’s previous record of 29.

The 36-year-old netted the first with a brilliant first-time finish from Nicolas Gonzalez’s pass in the 32nd minute.

He made it 2-0 when he capped off a fine team move by firing home before half-time.
The win is the fourth in a row for world champions Argentina in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

“This team is incredible, every time they play they are very close to being the best in history,” said Messi.

“On a game level, I think we have grown. After winning the World Cup we are confident, very loose, more united and firm. Hopefully, we can continue to grow.”

Messi came close to scoring a hat-trick in the second half when he had a goal ruled out for offside following a VAR review.

“The team has understood Messi for a long time, it benefits him and he feels comfortable,” said Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni.
“I hope he plays as much as he can because everyone is happy to see him on the pitch.”

Messi has previously said that he is planning to retire before the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in United States, Canada and Mexico.
Brazil are third in South American qualifying after losing 2-0 to Uruguay.

Messi: Argentina on track to be best ever

Neymar was forced to leave the game on a stretcher after suffering an apparent knee injury.

The injury happened late in the first half, shortly after Darwin Nunez had given Uruguay the lead.

Neymar received treatment for several minutes and was then taken off and was set to undergo further tests.

“Let’s hope it’s nothing serious,” Brazil captain Casemiro told television.

“He’s an important player for us, we’re very fond of him. He’s been suffering a lot from injuries and when he starts to pick up the pace he gets injured again.”

Brazil suffered a 0-2 loss to Uruguay on Tuesday, their first loss in a World Qualifier since 2015. They did not have a single shot on target all game, ending a 37-game unbeaten streak.

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