• Messi netted two goals and assisted one in Argentina's 4-1 win
  • It was Messi's 148th appearance for Argentina
  • Messi-led Argentina will next face Ecuador in Copa America

Lionel Messi netted a brace in a record-breaking appearance for Argentina during their Copa America outing Monday.

When Messi took the field during Argentina's game against Bolivia at the Arena Pantanal Stadium in Brazil, he became the most capped player for his country. It was Messi's 148th match for Argentina, one more than former captain Javier Mascherano.

Messi was involved in three goals in Argentina's 4-1 win over Bolivia, scoring two and assisting one. With three goals in four games, Messi is the top scorer in the Copa America 2021 in Brazil.

With two goals on Monday, Messi took his tally of goals for Argentina to 75 and surpassed India's Sunil Chhetri to climb to a joint-ninth place in the list of most international goals scored. The leaders in the list are Messi's Portuguese counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo and Iran legend Ali Daei with 109 goals each. Ronaldo failed to go past Daei as Portugal crashed out of Euros 2021 following a 1-0 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16.

With the win over Bolivia, Messi-led Argentina progressed to the quarter-final of the Copa America 2021 and will next face Ecuador. In the first half of the game against Bolivia, Messi's presence was evident. He set up Alejandro Gomez's goal just six minutes from kick-off before doubling Argentina's lead by netting from the spot. Just before the half time break, Messi once again beat the Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Lampe to make it 3-0 for Argentina in the 42nd minute.

Messi scored a brace for Argentina for the first time in as many as 18 games. His last double was in the 5-1 win against Nicaragua in August 2019.

Having made his Copa America debut in 2007, Messi has featured in as many as six editions of Copa America. The two goals against Bolivia took Messi's goals tally in the competition to 12, making him the fourth top Argentine scorer in the history of the championship. He is one behind Gabriel Batistuta and José Moreno and five behind leader Norberto Méndez, according to Copa America's official website.

Argentina's Lionel Messi (C) celebrates with teammates Nicolas Gonzalez (L) and Giovani Lo Celso
Argentina's Lionel Messi (C) celebrates with teammates Nicolas Gonzalez (L) and Giovani Lo Celso Getty Images | MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP