Individual Highlights: Lionel Messi’s first Argentinian hat-trick vs Switzerland

“I had been waiting for a long time for this moment because on a lot of occasions things didn’t work out for me. Now, things have worked out, the team won and we did well. It’s special because it happened with the national team.” – Lionel Messi.

“It was emotional to watch him, his speed and explosiveness are astonishing. He has showed again he is the best in the world.” – Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

“In the World Cup, even though he did not score, he was the figurehead of the team’s attacking play. Having him in the team is a blessing, we all have to take care of him. Messi almost always plays well. Lately, [he] is having great performances with the team.” – Alejandro Sabella.


Let’s start with his latest stats.

Lionel Messi has chalked up 48 goals for club and country this season: 43 with Barcelona, 5 for Argentina. Moreover, in 67 games playing for La Albiceleste, Messi has scored 22 goals whilst also chipping in with 20 assists.

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Thirsty for more data? After registering his first three-goal haul for Argentine, LM10 has now taken his hat-trick tally to a career total of 17. And he remains just 24 years old.

While the numbers are simply dizzying, after Wednesday night there is also renewed hope that Messi – who is criticised as not being on the level of Pele and Maradona having not won a World Cup – may be converting his talents in the international arena too. One sensational performance in Bern won’t silence all the Messi-haters who remember that he failed to score at both the 2010 World Cup or last year’s Copa America, but it is a bloody good start.

Messi opened in the scoring in the 20th minute after brilliantly combining with strike-partner Sergio Aguero and applying a perfect finish past Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio. Xherdan Shaqiri fired an equaliser early in the second half but in the final three minutes Messi single-handedly won the match.

The Swiss looked set for a draw until the 87th minute, when their defence lost possession to Aguero. The City striker found his Barcelona teammate, and Messi effortlessly dribbled past two defenders and scored with a shot off the underside of the bar. Then, in injury time, Messi’s late penalty gave the scoreline a somewhat flattering look.

Enjoy Lionel Messi’s showreel versus Switzerland here.

A video with all of Lionel Messi’s 22 goals for Argentina is here.

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