Messi scores his 100th goal for Argentina with a hat-trick.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored his seventh international hat-trick as Argentina defeated Curacao in a friendly at home.
The 35-year-old forward reached the milestone after scoring on 20 minutes in Santiago del Estero.
He added two more before the half to complete a treble.
Enzo Fernandez, a Chelsea midfielder, also scored before Argentina paraded the World Cup trophy in front of over 42,000 fans.
Argentina’s second match on home soil since defeating France on penalties in Qatar in December to win the World Cup.
Messi scored his 800th career goal – and Argentina’s 99th – in a 2-0 win over Panama last week in Buenos Aires as part of the team’s World Cup homecoming tour.
When he took a pass from Villarreal’s on-loan Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani lo Celso and fired a low shot into the bottom corner, the Paris St-Germain striker reached three figures for his country.
Nicolas Gonzalez outjumped goalkeeper Eloy Room three minutes later to head home from four yards before setting up Messi for his second of the night.
Fernandez made it 4-0 with a long-range shot before Lo Celso set up Messi for his third goal in the 37th minute.
In the second half, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Montiel added goals, but the night belonged to Messi, who extended his record as Argentina’s all-time leading scorer – Gabriel Batistuta is a distant second on 56.
He is still third on the men’s all-time international scoring list, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (122) of Portugal and Ali Daei of Iran (109).